Whether you’re well-traveled or planning your first vacation, these five unique places should be on everyone’s list of truly unique places to explore.
Our first stop takes us to the imaginary and mythical world of Tolkien and the Hobbiton film location in New Zealand. It’s the kingdom of the Hobbits and the place that Frodo and Bilbo Baggins both called home.
In Hobbiton, homes disappear into the earth. The only hint of their existence is doorways located on the sides of hills. It’s said that once you pass over the threshold of one of these unusual houses, you enter a beautiful home that would “arouse the jealousy of everyone.” Because Hobbits love to party and drink, be sure stop at the Green Dragon Inn. There you’ll get a true taste of the Lord of the Rings with a pint of their finest hobbit ale.
The Door to Hell
In the Karakum Desert of north-central Turkmenistan, a flaming crater has been burning for decades. The sights and sounds coming from this crater are so frightening that the locals call it the “Door of Hell.” The crater is 98 feet deep and 226 feet across. It covers an area that is almost as big as a football field. The flames and heat are so intense that you can’t even stand close to many parts of the crater’s edge.
The flames are caused by natural gas that seeps from cracks in the surrounding rocks of the crater. This causes thousands of flames to burn continuously throughout the door to hell.
The Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is located in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll near Belize City located along the Caribbean coast. Discovered by marine conservationist Jacques Cousteau, the Great Blue Hole is approximately 1,000 feet across and about 400 feet deep.
Blue holes are generally underwater sinkholes or inland caves. They are generally located in low-lying coastal areas. Most inland blue holes contain a mixture of saltwater and freshwater. Due to these unique water conditions, skeletal remains of extinct and still living species are well-preserved inside blue holes. Divers all over the world come to see the huge stalactites and stalagmites inside the passages of Belize’s Great Blue Hole.
Glass Beach is located in the Mackerricher State Park near Fort Bragg in California. Due to its unique composition, it’s a popular tourist attraction. This remarkable beach stretches for miles. Its sand is covered by glass that can be safely walked upon.
Once this ocean area and beach were used as a landfill. The waves have eroded and weathered the glass fragments, then washed them to the shore.
Glass beach is a breathtaking attraction. Some people describe the beach as a fine piece of jewelry. Although there are many other glass beaches around the world, this California beach is by far the largest and most unique.
Lake Retba is a pink lake in Senegal in West Africa. It’s one of the world’s saltiest lakes. In fact, with a saline level of 40%, it’s even saltier than the Dead Sea which has a saline level of 34%. The color of the lake varies by season and is more pronounced between November and June, during the dry season. At other times of the year, the pink color of the water is diluted by rainwater. The lake’s unusual color is caused by Dunaliella salina algae which is one of the few organisms that can tolerate the high saline levels. The red pigments produced by the algae give Lake Retba its striking pink color.