The eight most beautiful places on our planet

The 12 most beautiful places on Earth

12 Most Beautiful Places on Earth

Let’s start, perhaps, with the most majestic lake. Baikal lies on the border of Irkutsk oblast and the Republic of Buryatia in eastern Russia. Not only is it the deepest lake in the world (1,642 meters), but it is also the largest natural reservoir of fresh water and the largest freshwater lake on the continent. Its waves can reach four meters, precious stones are found in the surrounding dunes, coastal rocks are decorated with thousands of years of paintings, and there are more sunny days here than on the Black Sea coast. For its unique ecosystem, Baikal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In spring its waters turn blue and are so transparent that one can easily see the bottom reliefs at a depth of up to 40 meters. The water owes its amazing purity to the 1.5-millimeter-long crayfish, the epishurea. These translucent crustaceans act as a natural filter, absorbing algae and other organics. And in winter the lake is covered with ice, which forms cracks up to 30 kilometers long.

Photo: pt-zapovednik.ru

The lake has 27 islands and there are rocks protruding from the water. Each island has its own name and history.

The Colored Rocks of Zhanggye Dangxia, China

Photo: cattur.ru

Have you ever seen colorful rocks? No? Take a look at the Zhangye Dangxia Rocks, the riot of colors is amazing. Their rocks are colored in a myriad of colors and shades, among which red and brown tones dominate. The origin of this unusual geological formation dates back to the Cretaceous period.

About a hundred million years ago there was a huge basin. The water currents gradually poured silt into it. Under the influence of global high temperatures, it dried up, and the sediment began to oxidize, taking on copper hues. Over the course of millions of years, a layer of red sandstone about 3700 meters thick was formed, with a Cretaceous-age layer on top that was 1300 meters thick. From this layer the peaks of Mount Dunkia began to form.

Since then, under the influence of the movement of the earth’s crust, the landscape has often changed. Water flowing down through the sedimentary rocks chiseled the slope and left behind red fragmentary rocks. But according to experts, mountain formation in the area is still going on. Every ten thousand years the mountain grows 87 cm.

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This unique landscape is a landmark of the country and since 2010 is included in the list of natural treasures of the world according to UNESCO.

Salar de Uyuni – the world’s largest salt marsh, Bolivia

Photo: tourweek.ru

In the southwest of highland Bolivia stretches the largest salt desert, the Uyuni. This is the largest salt marsh in the world, with an area of more than 10,500 square kilometers and a thickness of two to ten meters. The history of the largest Bolivian salt marsh goes back to prehistoric times. About 30-40 thousand years ago, Uyuni was part of a huge lake that dried up, exposing its bottom.

It becomes a real wonder of nature during the rainy season. Covered by a thin layer of water, the salty surface turns into the largest natural mirror in the world. On a nice day, a clear Bolivian sky is reflected in this “mirror” and the place becomes even more fabulous. And it feels like you’re floating in the air: the sky above, the sky below.

Photo: explorebyyourself.com

The ancient Indians were prejudiced against the vastness of salt, believing it to be an evil anomaly. According to Bolivian legend, such land was created by the tears and breast milk of the divine Tunupa, who is personified by an extinct volcano that was an island in ancient times. People did not dare to travel through the salt heath lest they get lost and die of terrible thirst, and llamas could not damage their hooves.

Scientists estimate that the salt marsh contains about 10 billion tons of salt. Every year no more than 25 thousand tons are extracted here. There are enough reserves to last for a long time. Hidden beneath the great whitewashed desert is a huge lithium deposit that could take poverty-stricken Bolivia to another economic level.

The best time to visit Salar de Uyuni is during the rainy season, which takes place in February. But in other months, too, the place is breathtakingly beautiful. From November to December near the desert clearing you can still admire the flamingos and other birds that come here at this time to breed.

Tianji Mountains, China

Photo: brakework.ru

Everyone has seen the movie Avatar and remembers the landscape with the “soaring” mountains? Well, they really do exist and they are in China. Mist-cloaked mountain peaks on the background of the green abyss make a truly stunning impression.

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This wonder of the world began forming more than three million years ago. Once there was only rainforest, which is still here today between the pillars. All the mountains are divided into two types. One was formed from limestone rocks and the other from quartz rocks. There are more than two thousand of them here. Some of them are up to 1,200 meters high, and the clouds that descend into the valley and the fog that appears after the rain give these towers an absolutely incredible shape – they seem to float in the air. Moreover, with changes in the wind and light levels, their appearance constantly changes, creating the illusion of movement.

Photo: brakework.ru

Overall, Mount Tianzi is an unspoiled corner of nature where natural arches, clear water bodies, pristine open-air forests, incredibly beautiful fields and hills are preserved.

After the release of “Avatar” a lot of tourists began to come here. There is a cable car length of more than seven kilometers. There are also glass bridges that not everyone dares to walk across. Now Zhangjiajie Reserve and its soaring cliffs have become a trademark of China and were recognized as a national treasure.

Sagano Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan

Photo: cognitours.ru

The Bamboo Forest is one of Japan’s most scenic places, located on the west side of Kyoto in Arashiyama Park. Walking along the thousands of thin, tall and evergreen trees you can enjoy the melodies that nature itself “plays”. Bamboo stems, swaying in the light breeze, make sounds reminiscent of the wind chimes popular in the East. The tranquil chime envelops you and creates a feeling of harmony. In 1996, the Japanese Ministry of Environment included the sounds of the bamboo, the creaking and rustling of the leaves in the wind, in the “Top 100 Sounds of Japan. The grove is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The forest is beautiful at any time of year, but it is best visited at sunrise or sunset, the sunlight adds beauty. Also, there are usually few visitors at this time.

Travertine Mountain in Pamukkale, Turkey

Photo: moystambul.ru

A one-of-a-kind and stunningly beautiful attraction in Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of years ago severe earthquakes created fractures in the rock through which natural geothermal vents gushed. The water in them is oversaturated with calcium salts, which, when evaporating, form solid deposits. Over time, they formed the mountain itself and small terraces of water. The snow-white material, which covers the whole Pamukkale, is called travertine, a very fragile rock.

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From the Turkish name is translated as “Cotton Castle”. And indeed, when you look at Pamukkale from a distance, or on the photo, it seems that you see a big castle built of many small fluffy boxes of cotton. This place is also called “Cleopatra’s Pool”. – According to legend, the Egyptian queen drew her beauty and youth here.

Rice Terraces in Mu Can Chai, Vietnam

Photo: rozavitriv.com

The province of Yen Bai in northern Vietnam is home to seven hundred hectares of incredible terraced rice fields. Their mesmerizing landscapes, created by human hands, tend to enthrall everyone who visits them. The breathtaking Mu Kang Chai fields are thousands of meters above sea level. The impossibility of growing rice on the hills in the usual way forced the Vietnamese people to create cascading slopes where flowing water lingers on the edges of the terraces, feeding the plants. The formed curves of the terraces do not disturb the harmony of natural landscapes in the slightest and are even a kind of decoration.

From February to April they are flooded with water, which creates a mirror effect and sparkles unimaginably in the sunlight. From May to mid-September, the slopes turn a lush emerald color, thanks to the rice shoots that have sprouted. This is the best time to come here to admire the unusual scenery. Then the slopes turn golden brown – they are also beautiful in their own way, but not nearly as impressive.

Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina

Photo: pikabu.ru

Perito Moreno is one of the most famous and spectacular glaciers not only in Argentina, but also in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has long been one of Patagonia’s main attractions.

The glacier has been towering over the turquoise icy waters of Los Glaciares National Park for some 30,000 years, shining dazzling white and exuding cool blue hues. Unlike most other glaciers on Earth, Perito Moreno is still growing, not melting. Covering a total of 260 square kilometers, the glacier is 5 kilometers wide and rises 78 meters above Lake Lago Argentino.

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Its rate of movement is about 2 meters per day (up to 700 meters per year). Since the loss of mass is approximately equal, for the past 90 years, the tongue of the glacier “stands” in place – it neither advances nor retreats. It is one of 48 glaciers fed by the Andean South Patagonian Ice Plateau, the third largest freshwater resource on the planet after Antarctica and Greenland, located on the Argentine-Chilean border.

Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River, Zambia-Zimbabwe border

Photo: globusturspb.ru

On the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia in Africa you can see an incredible natural phenomenon – the waters of the Zambezi River in an enormous wide stream, with a roar fall into the gorge, and then rush into a narrow fissure, creating clouds of tiny water spray. Victoria Falls are not the highest (their height is 107 m, and width – 2 km), but undoubtedly for beauty and grandeur, it has no equal in the world. It is included in the “Seven Wonders of Nature. Since 1989 it is protected as a world heritage of UNESCO.

The first European who saw the falls was Scottish explorer David Livingstone. On November 16, 1855, after noticing the extraordinary curtain of water, the traveler named it after his queen – Victoria. The local tribes call the waterfall “Mosi-Oa Tunya,” which means “thundering smoke.

After the rainy season, between February and May, 500 million liters of water fall every minute. As they spray, they create a cap of mist that can be seen within a radius of 20 kilometers. Even at night, a rainbow shines over Victoria. It’s known as a Moonbow. It is formed by the reflection of moonlight on the mist created by the waterfall. At the edge of the waterfall there is a natural pool called the “Devil’s Pool”. During the dry season (October, November), you can safely swim in it.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Photo: zapovedniki-mira.com

The largest and most beautiful coral reef is located in Pacific waters on the Australian coast. Its structure is made up of billions of tiny microorganisms that have created the world’s largest coral ecosystem. It consists of 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, stretching for 2,600 km. With an area of about 344,400 km² (just over France), it is the world’s largest formation created by living organisms. It is worth noting that the vast majority of reefs are hidden underwater and open to view only at low tide.

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Some reefs over time have become coral islands, which amaze travelers with their unique landscape and a wealth of fauna. Because of this, UNESCO has included the National Park, an area of nearly 5 million hectares, in the list of World Heritage Sites since 1979.

The Big Blue Hole, Belize

Photo: planetofhotels.com

A large sinkhole of karst origin is located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast in Central America. Its depth is 120 meters, diameter – 300, and the perfectly round shape of its edges is best seen from the height – for example, from a helicopter, where you can see all the beauty of this natural phenomenon.

This geological formation was originally a system of limestone caves formed during the last ice age. The sea level was much lower back then, but when the ocean rose and the flooded cave roof collapsed, a sinkhole was formed.

Absolutely round well of limestone in the heart of coral reefs, filled with water of rich blue color and decorated with bizarre stalactites, stalagmites, and amazing sculptures created by nature, was discovered 40 years ago by Jacques-Yves Cousteau near Belize (100 kilometers from the continent).

Locals advise caution when scuba diving into the Blue Hole. Tidal currents form swift whirlpools, pulling in objects floating on its surface. At low tide, the opposite process occurs: high fountains erupt from the funnel.

Waitomo Cave, New Zealand

Photo: pohod-v-gory.com

The cave is popular because of the unique creatures that fill the ceiling and vaults of the caves with their light. They make it seem as if the night sky around you is full of bright stars. Nature has worked hard and created underground grottos, abundantly filled with luminous insects Arachnocampa Luminosa. They are also called mushroom mosquitoes-luminosa.

Millions of years ago, the ocean was here. The water carved numerous grottos, passages, and caves. Then the water receded, and the freed caves began to form conditions quite suitable for the existence of small luminous organisms. They can be seen all year round. In summer they multiply, but in winter they shine brighter. And it is thanks to them that Waitomo Cave can be included in the list of the most beautiful places on Earth.

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