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UNREAL PLACES THAT ACTUALLY EXIST

Places that are scientifically impossible places that actually exist that will blow your mind, take a look.



The Crooked Forest

Poland’s Crooked Forest has long beckoned visitors with a penchant for the unusual. Science suggests that the J-shaped trees that are growing within are an impossibility. Yet they’re here for all to see — even if a reason for their misshapen nature cannot be explained.

There are countless theories about the Crooked Forest, but so far none has been proven or disproven. Known to local people as Krzywy Las, the forest can be found in Poland’s western fringes, not far from the border with Germany. Some believe that invading tanks flattened young saplings during World War II, causing the recovering trees to take such a strange shape.

But others have blamed aliens, gravitational fluctuations, and the thick snowfall for which the region is renowned — all without evidence or a convincing argument. It’s possible that the truth is more mundane. Some claim the trees were manipulated by the human hand to create tailor-made shapes for construction purposes.

Kawah Ijen

The active Kawah Ijen Volcano in Banywang Regency, Java is one of the world’s most extraordinary volcanoes. Instead of producing the usual red lava and black smoke, its underground activities result in electric blue lava and flames rising into the air.

Kawah Ijen’s fabled blue lava has long drawn the curious to Java. Here, on this stunning Indonesian island, the volcano’s spectacular eruptions are a sight to behold. The phenomenon has long fascinated scientists. But although the colors cannot be questioned, the underlying cause is not as most believe. The lava here is not originally blue but becomes it due to a natural phenomenon. Indeed, the volcano has some of the highest levels of sulfur in the world and when the volcano’s sulfuric gases come into contact with the air temperature above 360’C, the lava turns blue.

Another interesting fact about this place is that it’s home to one of the world’s most dangerous sulfur mining operations in the world. The working conditions are precarious, and the workers being exposed to the toxic sulfur gases for long periods of time develop long-term health issues. Interested in visiting? Don’t adventure here on your own. A really cool thing to do is a night-guided group tour to the volcano to see the phenomenon of the blue flame.

Hessdalen Lights

The Hessdalen Lights are beautiful but baffling. Scientists have long pondered their cause. But despite numerous investigations and research galore, the reason for this Norwegian phenomenon remains unknown.

The Lights were first reported in the 1930s and have captivated visitors ever since. Sometimes the show lasts for just a few short seconds. But on occasions, the bright yellow, white, red, green, and blue lights can shine for well over an hour.

Located in rural Norway, the Lights illuminate a 7.5 mile stretch of the Hessdalen Valley. They can appear during the daytime or at night and appear to drift and float. But no one knows why, with scientists struggling to find an answer or offer an explanation. The Hessdalen Lights are more prevalent during some periods than others — with sightings spiking in the 1980s, but proving less common in recent times. This just adds to the mystery in a place that continues to confound.

Lake Karachay

Planning a trip to Russia? This is a spot to avoid at all costs. Lake Karachay’s scenic shoreline is considered the most polluted place on the planet. In the 1990s, tests revealed that just standing close to the lake for a single hour would, in all likelihood, result in death.

The big problem here is radiation. For decades, the Soviets worked on a top-secret atomic bomb project in this remote region. The radioactive waste? It was all dumped into Lake Karachay. Convenient, perhaps. But this came at quite a cost.

The landscape here might be beautiful, but it’s also deadly. Science might suggest that such levels of radiation are impossible, but the slapdash Soviets have proved otherwise. The lake has since been filled in, but risks remain, with the soil here presenting grave dangers to human health. The Russian government has restricted access, meaning it’s impossible to visit — not that you’d want to.

Bermuda Triangle

Science suggests that the Bermuda Triangle is a little more than a myth. Rational researchers are adamant that this is the stuff of folklore, but doubts persist and anything seems possible. The Bermuda Triangle covers a huge area in the North Atlantic Ocean, spanning more than 500,000 square miles.

It’s also known as the Devil’s Triangle or Hurricane Alley, as countless ships and planes are said to have disappeared without a trace whilst in this area. But does this mean that the legend is true? Science suggests that the legend of the Bermuda Triangle is a manufactured mystery, perpetuated by writers who either purposely or unknowingly made use of misconceptions, faulty reasoning, and sensationalism. One explanation pins the blame on leftover technology from the mythical lost continent of Atlantis when another says that unusual local magnetic anomalies may exist in the area, confusing compasses and leading ships to get lost. There is also the myth that violent storms occur in the triangles, sinking ships.

The Triangle is one of the busiest shipping lanes on Earth and experts think it’s not unusual that vessels are lost here from time to time. But still, those entering the Bermuda Triangle often do so with a deep sense of unease, the triangle legend enduring and not entirely proved wrong.

Double Tree

Tourists flock to Piedmont to see Italy’s famous Double Tree. Here — on a much-visited site, between Grana and Casorzo — a cherry tree grows atop a mulberry. Science suggests that such a thing should not be possible. But there can be no disputing the facts. This place — and these trees — do actually exist.

Called the Double Tree of Casorzo — or Bialbero di Casorzo — this is quite an anomaly. It isn’t unheard of for one tree to grow on top of another. But growth tends to be limited in such instances, with neither tree able to thrive or to reach a significant size.

This is where Bialbero di Casorzo stands out, defying science and proving that anything is possible. It is thought that, long ago, a bird must have dropped a cherry stone onto the mulberry tree when flying overhead. This sounds plausible — but no one could have imagined that it would turn out quite like this.

Boiling River

Science suggests it isn’t possible for a river to reach such temperatures. Yet hidden deep in the Peruvian Amazon, researchers have uncovered evidence to the contrary. Here, in Puerto Inca, the Boiling River continues to defy scientific norms.

It isn’t quite boiling. But it is very hot. Located in Peru’s dense jungle, the Boiling River reaches temperatures close to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Tempted to take a dip? You shouldn’t. The waters here are hot enough to burn — and in some instances, kill.

The Boiling River is a sacred place and local shaman believe the waters have healing powers. Scientists have long been baffled and explaining this place is difficult. But it’s thought underwater fault lines are responsible — the waters being heated deep underground before being pushed back to the surface. The Boiling River ranks amongst the largest geothermal features on Earth. It’s hard to believe such a place actually exists, but there’s no arguing with the evidence.


The Petrifying Well

It was once thought that witchcraft was at play in North Yorkshire. Here, not far from Knaresborough, a well that was said to turn objects to stone appeared to be doing the impossible. Mother Shipton — a much-feared local witch and oracle — was blamed for such sorcery. There are still some who think that not all is as it should be here, although science suggests otherwise.

Mother Shipton was associated with several tragic events that have made it her business to predict certain horrors that she claimed would befall England’s Tudor reign. The Petrifying Well left local people terrified in the 1600s. Items that came into contact with its waters, it was said, would turn to stone. It has since been discovered that the water’s high mineral content can have a petrifying effect. It doesn’t make for such a good story — but it’s a more likely explanation than witchcraft.

Blue Pond of Hokkaido

The Blue Pond’s fabled waters are almost impossibly colorful. Located close to the popular hot spring town of Shirogane Onsen in Japan, this is a place that beckons those with an eye for the unusual. The pond itself is man-made, but the intriguing bright blue waters within are all-natural.

Yet they also seem supernatural, and we could definitely add this lake to our list of places that look like from another planet. The pond’s origins date back to the 1980s, when nearby Mount Tokachi erupted, threatening the small town of Biel. In order to reduce the risks that were posed by lava flows and mudslides, a dam was built to help strengthen Biel’s defenses. This led to several ponds forming — including the Blue Pond.

The main reason for the vibrant hue that provides the Blue Pond’s name is the high level of aluminum hydroxide that can be found in the water. The white birch and Japanese larch trees which stand in the middle of the lake are adding to the Blue Pond mystical aura, and it’s definitely a spot you want to add to your travel bucket list.

Catatumbo Lightning

We all heard the saying ‘lightning never strikes the same place twice. Well, at lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, lightning can strike up to 280 times an hour and last for 10 hours a day. Called Catatumbo Lightning, this is an atmospheric phenomenon that just goes on and on and on.

It is thought the region’s unique topography and wind patterns contribute to this unique phenomenon, but the precise reason is unclear, with this an occurrence that continues to puzzle the country’s brightest scientific minds. When the storm clouds gather high above the mouth of the Catatumbo River, you know you’re in for a show.

There’s more. There’s no thunder, with the lightning strikes taking place in a deafening silence that can be a little eerie. Then there are the colors, with the darkening skies here lit in red, orange, pink, and blue. Catatumbo Lightning can be seen, on average, on 160 days a year — making for a natural phenomenon that demands to be seen. Interested? You can join a guided night tour to witness the spectacle and explore the tropical savannas nearby. Make sure to pack your camera!

Devil’s Kettle Waterfall

The Devil’s Kettle waterfall, also called Disappearing River, has long fascinated visitors to Minnesota’s Judge CR Magney State Park. Located on Lake Superior’s scenic northern shores, there’s a great deal to see and do in this beautiful park, but most are drawn to this wonderful wilderness to see its extraordinary waterfall.

The fast-flowing river defies the laws of nature and puzzles scientists and explorers alike. It splits in two, with one side dropping over a standard 50-foot waterfall, whilst the other vanishes without a trace.

Scientists think the river must drain somewhere beneath Lake Superior but they’ve been unable to prove it. Another hypothesis is this portion of the river plunges into a vast pothole that cannot be seen from the surface, before rejoining the main flow a little further downstream. Researchers and other curious visitors have dropped various objects into the hole and searched for signs of them in an attempt to solve the mystery, but so far, none have been found.

Ringing Rocks of Pennsylvania

This place gives fresh meaning to the term ‘Rock Concert’. Here — in northern Pennsylvania, not far from the scenic Delaware River — those with a penchant for the inexplicable gather to experience a genuine scientific oddity. The large rocks that litter the ground here ring like bells when struck. Our advice for anyone planning a visit? Make sure to bring a hammer. Scientists have long studied Pennsylvania’s remarkable Ringing Rocks, but a clear explanation remains elusive.

Make no mistake about it: this is something that shouldn’t be possible. But there’s no question that the rocks here do ring — although not all are audible. It was once thought that just one-third of the rocks made their distinctive sound. Yet research in 1965 discovered that all the rocks here ring, but some sound at a pitch that is lower than the human ear can detect. That research didn’t, alas, determine the cause.

Sea of Stars

The stunning Sea of Stars is a sight to behold. This might appear to transcend the possible, but there can be no question that this phenomenon is in rude health.

Found in the Maldives, the lapping waves look like the night sky, filled with bright lights, twinkling like stars in the ocean. It’s all down to plankton — microscopic organisms that make the impossible possible. The dazzling effect could not be more magical.

Like to see the ‘stars’ for yourself? Vaadhoo Island, part of the picturesque Raa Atoll, is a prime spot — with the late summer months the best time to visit. The bioluminescent plankton is often at its brightest here, with the movement of the waves prompting a chemical reaction that causes the ‘stars’ to shine. It might seem too good to be true. But the Sea of Stars is there for all to see. Far from impossible, this is a destination that demands a visit.


Lake Hillier

There can be no question that Lake Hillier is a scientific oddity. It takes just a quick look to realize that this is a body of water with a difference. Most lakes appear blue, or maybe green. But the shimmering waters that lap Lake Hillier’s scenic shores?

They’re bubble gum pink. Located on Middle Island, in Western Australia’s picturesque Recherche Archipelago, this is a puzzle that has long baffled scientists. It shouldn’t be possible for a lake to be bright pink. But Lake Hillier? It most certainly is.

There are various theories — the main one being that the lake’s high saline levels, coupled with a rare algal species, are responsible for its most notable feature. Yet Lake Hillier remains pink all year round — and even when removed from the lake and bottled, the water’s distinctive coloring stays as vibrant as ever. Such things ensure that Lake Hillier is a scientific oddity.

Hum Of Taos

Science has been unable to solve the so-called ‘Taos Hum’. This is a persistent sound that has troubled people here since the 1990s. No one knows what it is or where it comes from. It might seem scientifically impossible, but there can be no doubt that this is a real phenomenon.

The Hum, which has also been described as a rumble or drone, is a low-frequency sound that isn’t audible to all. Research suggests that just 2% of people in Taos can hear it — and this just adds to the mystery.

Scientists have spent much time in this small north-central New Mexico town, but still, an explanation remains elusive. There are some who believe this to be a paranormal phenomenon. That the Taos Hum once featured in The X-Files — as well as other sci-fi TV shows — has nothing to deter the conspiracy theorists. Still, though, scientists continue to ponder this persistent problem and it’s a conundrum that is proving impossible to solve.

Circles Of Namibia

Countless theories abound, but Namibia’s famed Fairy Circles continue to confound. Located in the arid Namib Desert, these distinctive bare patches have long puzzled the scientific community. Various explanations have been put forward, but none has yet been proved possible.

The indigenous people here believe the circles are caused by the poisonous breath of a subterranean dragon. It seems as likely an explanation as the others put forward. The barren circles measure between two and 15 meters in diameter. There’s no missing them. But understanding them is another matter. Some think rampant termites are responsible.

But others point to the region’s inhospitable nature and argue that the efficient plant life has organized itself in order to best access the desert’s scarce water reserves. Regardless of the reason, the precision of the perfect circles makes them impossible to comprehend. Could it be the dragon — or maybe the other myths that are commonplace here? As things stand, science has failed to find a better answer.