The world is filled with beautiful places and you can visit them whenever you want – but for something truly extraordinary, your sense of adventure can only be satisfied by something…impossible. And fortunately for you, there are places on earth where the laws of physics just don’t seem to work right.
Strange landscapes bend your perceptions and appear to defy the laws of sight and gravity. Glaciers weep blood, flames bloom in the midst of water and strange structures have impossible dimensions and unclear origins. For a look at what your science books really didn’t try to explain, check out these tourist sites, destinations and beautiful attractions.
1. Santa Cruz Mystery Spot
This house sees objects roll uphill, chairs rest on walls and more.
There are a ton of “mystery spots” around the world (we’ll explore more of them in some of the later locations), and all of them mess with your head in some way. Objects appear to easily violate the laws of physics by rolling uphill, resting on walls instead of floors, and much more.
These spots often draw in tourists by claiming to be centers of supernatural activity or whatnot, but usually this is a result of strange psychological effects from unusual angles and perspectives. In the Santa Cruz spot, for example, the house is tilted at 20 degrees from the ground, which is responsible for many of the strange occurrences inside.
2. The Magnetic Hill Of Australia
Source: YouTube-Mukesh Bindal
This hill appears to drag cars uphill against gravity.
Like many mystery spots, there are different magnetic or gravity hills around the world (and if you go visit one, why not visit Australia at the same time?). These hills are “magnetic” because cars appear to roll uphill as though drawn by some unseen force.
This is also a strange case of perspective: while the hill looks like it is slanted, it is actually slanting down the opposite way, but the human eye is tricked because of the surrounding landscape. The effect is very surreal, and a lot of fun no matter where you find one.
3. The Suddenly Appearing Islands
The right kind of volcanic activity can create brand new islands, almost overnight.
We know about islands – either they form very slowly, or they’ve pretty much been there forever, right? Well, no. Some islands defy the common laws of geology and spring up overnight.
Usually, these islands are caused by unusually active volcanoes that push lava and mud to the surface. Sometimes these sudden islands are permanent, and sometimes, as with the Pakistani island, they can vanish again just as quickly. It’s worth noting that these islands have been seen all around the world, from Japan to Iceland.
4. The Bermuda Triangle’s Unlucky Location
Why do ships disappear in the Bermuda Triangle? Just a spot of bad luck.
Have you ever had a strange urge to visit the Bermuda Triangle, despite the risk of mysteriously disappearing forever? Go for it! These days this patch of ocean between Puerto Rico, Miami and Bermuda has been very thoroughly researched for magnetic weirdness, waterspouts, methane gas and many other strange effects.
The result? The Bermuda Triangle is simply unlucky in its association with a variety of vanished ships and planes. In reality, the Triangle is no more dangerous than other oceanic locations – it just has a bad reputation.
5. The Mysterious Ocean Balls
A field of metal balls on the bottom of the ocean with no clear origin? Sounds mysterious to us.
If you ever decide to dredge the Atlantic Ocean, there’s a chance that you, like these scientists, could discover a vast field of metal balls. These balls were certainly not made by any plant or animal, and were definitely not made from a lost cargo of cannonballs either. But what else could explain them?
The best guess is that they are manganese nodules, accretions of manganese millions of years old that form…somehow. Scientists aren’t sure how they are made, and why this field is in the Atlantic when most other examples are in the Pacific. At least we’re sure they’re not ancient dinosaur eggs…mostly.
6. The Richat Structure
These strange circles in the Sahara Desert have boggled minds for years.
The Richat Structure is located in Mauritania and is…well, pretty indescribable. Located deep in the Sahara Desert, this is a series of concentric bluish rings wrapped inside each other, each ring expanding a certain distance from the center.
It’s a weird bull’s-eye, around 30 miles wide, that no desert winds could have formed. Geologists think it may have been a coincidence, but other popular theories claim it is from a strangely perfect meteorite hit or even an ancient landing spaceship.
7. The McMurdo Dry Valleys
This is the driest desert in the world…and is located in the middle of Antarctica.
You probably associate Antarctica with snow and ice, right? The climate doesn’t really lend itself to anything else. But here’s the thing: Right in the middle of an Antarctic wasteland of ice there are the McMurdo Dry Valleys, a section of earth that is completely snow-free for no clear reasons.
Nothing grows here – in fact, it is one of the most arid deserts in the world and is probably the driest land you can find on earth – but it is also somehow completely absent of snow and ice. The best guess is that strange winds somehow keep snow and ice away.
8. St. Ignace Mystery Spot
This Michigan mystery spot is located outdoors and has a few theme-park attractions.
Here’s another mystery spot in the United States, this one in Michigan. While the Santa Cruz spot was a house, this spot is actually a 300-foot section of landscape that was first discovered when surveyors realized their instruments didn’t work there.
There are a number of different attractions set up here to bring in the tourists, but the spot remains the ultimate attraction. People appear to shrink in size and the laws of gravity don’t seem to work the same way. Again, it’s probably just perspective, but that doesn’t make it any less weird.
9. Septarian Concretions (Giant Egg Rocks)
These vast spheres of rock appear in beaches across the world, but not like what are found in New Zealand.
Let’s visit New Zealand next, and explore our next big possibility for dinosaur eggs, the Moeraki Boulders. These are vast, egg-shaped boulders that are simply lying on the shore almost as if they have been waiting to hatch for millennia.
Occasionally more are uncovered through erosion, each one strangely spherical. These appear to be septarian concretions, a strange geological product that is formed in much the way that a pearl is formed around a grain of sand. However, the Moeraki Boulders, along with the Koutu Boulders, also located in New Zealand, remain unusually large, even for septarian concretions.
10. The Sailing Stones Of Death Valley
These stones glide dozens of feet overnight – without any clear cause.
You expect stones to stay still in the real world, right? Well, the stones in Death Valley, California, have a habit of moving around. They don’t do it all the time, but every several years or so they will suddenly scoot dozens or hundreds of feet across the desert surface, leaving tracks in the ground, moving literally overnight.
It’s no joke or prank, and scientists still aren’t sure how it happens. The best guess is that a combination of rain, freezing temperatures, and wind can encourage the stones to “sail” across the desert floor.
11. Confusion Hill
This is a gravity hill with a little park and house built around it to amplify the effects, along with train rides for the kids.
Confusion Hill is a unique sort of mystery spot, this one found in Piercy, California. This spot also focuses on a particular house where perspective is so strange that it makes you want to stand up straight…when you are already standing up.
In many ways it’s like a gravity hill, except with the added fun of a structure built around it to amplify its curious properties. If you like hiking or train riding, there’s also plenty to do around the area, which has a rich history.
12. The Underwater River Cenote Angelita
This river flows deep underwater, thanks to limestone caverns and strange physics.
Look Planet Earth, by now you should know that rivers flow on the ground, right? That’s just how it works. But that doesn’t explain the Cenote Angelita of Mexico: This is one of the few rivers in the world that flows underwater – yes indeed, dive down 90 feet and you can see it, just rushing past, minding its own business as if there weren’t tons of water pressing down on it.
You can even dive into it – the color and texture of the water is so different, it really looks like a river on the surface. This is caused from a different quality of water flowing in from limestone caverns deep beneath the surface.
13. The Oregon Vortex
The Oregon Vortex is a mystery spot located at an ancient gold assay office that slid off its foundation nearly a century ago.
While it may be called a vortex, this site seems to be another mystery spot or gravity hill that specializes in optical illusions…albeit one of the more famous examples. Featured in multiple shows and films, the vortex centers on a gold assay office that has slid to a strange angle that is amplified by the surrounding landscape, creating many different perspective tricks and freaking out horses and other animals.
14. Blood Falls In Antarctica
Blood pours out of this white ice field in a chilling, inexplicable way.
When ice melts, you expect two different colors: White and the greenish-gray of cold water. That’s it. But there’s a certain spot in Antarctica that changes the formula into something impossible: It bleeds red when the ice melts, leading to the name Blood Falls and a truly creepy site. The blood-red liquid really does pour like a slow waterfall in the middle of a pure white ice flow, defying all senses and making it look like the land itself is bleeding. The cause appears to be something like an ancient pocket of old microbes spilling out of the ice…which is also creepy.
15. Eternal Flame In Waterfall At Orchard Park, New York
This natural torch burns within this waterfall in a truly amazing, impossible attraction.
The Eternal Flame Falls seems like something mechanical, as if invented as part of a park attraction. But they are real, and you can visit these beautiful falls anytime you want. Behind one section of the waterfall is a glowing torch of fire, seemingly suspending in the pouring water but never going out.
This is one of those little miracles of nature that seems impossible even when you know how it works: A completely natural rock conduit of methane gas is ignited and seeps out of a hole in the rocks behind the waterfall, creating this effect.