There’s no doubt about it: people are weird. Just ask the staff at Twitter about their new boss. Even more unusual than a power-hungry billionaire? This list of the weirdest places on earth.
We’re talking about creepy locations like the Catacombs in Paris and the Island of the Dolls in Mexico. Also, beautiful, one-of-a-kind sights like the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia and the Eternal Flame Falls in New York. No matter how many odd things you think you’ve seen, these places will have you scratching your head for days after visiting.
If you’re looking for some strange and chilling places to add to your bucket list, we’ve got the spots for you. And hopefully, you have the vacation days to go see them.
15 of the Weirdest Places on Earth
1. Giant Crystal Cave in Chihuahua, Mexico
Crystals make super cute necklaces, but the ones in Mexico’s Giant Crystal Cave would make movement pretty tough, unless you happen to be a bodybuilder. The unexpected perils of skipping leg day back to bite us once again.
Buried 984 feet under the Sierra de Naica Mountain, this cave is full of massive, shiny gypsum pillars growing in all directions. Gypsum is one of the main ingredients in pale ale, so prepare to ditch your IPA on this trip. We were getting tired of all those hops, anyway.
Discovered in 2000 by a mining company, scientists believe the crystals grew for at least half a million years uninterrupted to get this large. The biggest ones reach 36 feet long and 3.2 feet thick.
Talk about a statement necklace.
2. The Catacombs in Paris, France
If you’re looking for something creepy – and possibly haunted – head to the Catacombs in Paris. This is a set of old quarry tunnels filled with human bones, skulls, and probably a few of Emily’s outfits that should never again see the light of day.
Most of the remains were taken from overcrowded graveyards in the 18th and 19th centuries, so who knows what kind of ghosts may lurk down there. Happy ones, scary ones, ones with an eternal stomach ache from a bout of bad sushi. Watch out for those last ones in particular.
The bones were moved when public health problems were connected to the city’s cemeteries. In an effort to protect people, authorities picked a new site, the abandoned Tombe-Issoire quarries.
It seemed like the perfect solution at the time, and now it’s a tourist attraction. Here, we even built your perfect agenda for your next trip to Paris: 8 a.m. – Breakfast; 9 a.m – See dead people; 10 a.m. – A romantic walk along the Seine.
3. Island of the Dolls in Xochimilco, Mexico
If there’s something creepier than the Catacombs, it’s the Island of the Dolls in Mexico. This place is straight out of a horror movie with well-weathered dolls strung up around an acre of land. Locals say it is cursed with ghosts and disembodied voices. So if watching M3GAN isn’t scary enough, just hop on the next flight to Xochimilco.
The dolls date back to the 1950s when Julian Santana Barrera found a young girl who drowned near his home. After that, things went wrong when he claimed to see ghosts and his crops started failing.
Naturally, he began collecting dolls as a way to protect himself. Who needs a Great Dane when you have Chucky?
4. Salar de Uyuni in Uyuni, Bolivia
Like checking yourself out in the mirror? Go to the Uyuni Salt Flats, located in Bolivia. Stretching more than 4,050 square miles, it becomes the world’s biggest mirror when water gathers. You can leave the selfie stick at home this time.
The thick crust of salt is covered in polygonal patterns. At certain times of the year, the lakes nearby overflow and create a stunning reflective surface. Flamingos like to hang out here for breeding, and we suddenly understand why some couples use mirrors on their ceilings.
This place also served as a filming location for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The flatness of the land, clear skies, and vast area make this prehistoric lake like nothing else in the world. Except Orlando, Florida. But that goes without saying.
5. Blood Falls in McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
You might picture Antarctica as an idyllic snowy landscape, but these waters run blood red due to the sheer amount of iron in it. The waterfall, discovered in 2011, towers at five stories high, a truly fearsome (and awesome) sight to behold. It’s giving us Aunt Flo vibes, and suddenly we’re craving chocolate.
To get more into the science behind this anomaly, ancient microbes evolved in a lake trapped below the Taylor Glacier. A fissure in the ice allowed the time capsule of a lake to flow out, forming falls with high salinity and iron levels. Translation: bright red water.
It’s a scientific oddity, and way cooler than the time capsule we made in eighth grade, in which we immortalized our love for Gwen Stefani. So basically, nothing’s changed.
6. Mendenhall Ice Caves in Juneau, Alaska
Global warming can be a real jerk, so check out these Alaskan caves while you can. But bring an umbrella just in case.
Inside these ice caves that are located in Juneau are breathtaking blue walls amid a partially hollowed-out glacier. The 12-mile stretch is only accessible if you bravely kayak to the edge of the ice and climb over the glacier.
What better time than the present to get over your fear of everything we just said?
7. Cat Island in Tashirojima Island, Japan
Ever wonder what it would be like to live on an island with cats everywhere? We’re about to make your dreams come true. Or, kick your allergies into overdrive.
Tashirojima Island in Japan is nicknamed “Cat Island,” as the cats on the island outnumber humans three to one. That’s a much more delightful statistic than the one about roaches in New York City. Don’t Google it don’t Google it don’t Google it.
We told you not to Google it.
The island itself was once a center for silkworm production, and they used the cats to protect cocoons from rats. Don’t miss the cat shrine in the middle of the adjacent forest, where you can pray that your own kitty won’t take weeks to forgive you for having the audacity to go on vacation without them.
8. Tunnel of Love in Klevan, Ukraine
Romance is in the air. Or was that just a fur ball?
For a less fluffy destination than the one mentioned above, check out the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine, which spans nearly two miles. This stretch of private railway has transformed the surrounding trees into a beautiful natural tunnel with bright, leafy arches overhead.
You’ll feel like a princess walking down this leafy, green tunnel with your beloved. Ideally not the kind that ends up with a Netflix special tearing down the royal family. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
And, according to legend, you may be granted a wish if your intentions are genuine. Wishing that you could learn to communicate with woodland creatures is totally valid.
9. Pamukkale Water Terraces in Denizli, Turkey
The travertine thermal pools in Turkey may look like a “Cotton Castle,” but they’re actually deposited limestone formed over millions of years. These white terraces look like frozen waterfalls, but the pools aren’t cold. They’re actually quite warm, since they’re fed by an underground spring.
People have even used these mineral springs to treat nervous disorders, skin problems, and heart disease. Watch out, essential oil slingers.
10. Eternal Flame Falls
You would think that fire and water could not exist harmoniously like this, but they do. Not you, Pisces and Leo. Run far and fast.
The Eternal Flame Falls in Western New York has a 35-foot-high waterfall with an eight-inch flame sitting behind it. People believe that Native Americans lit it thousands of years ago. And for years, it was accepted that the cause of it being sustained was a flammable natural gas.
But, a group of scientists from Indiana University discovered that the shale under the waterfall isn’t hot or old enough to cause gas pockets to form. This discovery has thrown the entire theory out the window, so it’s back to being a total mystery.
It’s almost as mysterious as that time when the last slice of our roommate’s birthday cake disappeared overnight. A squirrel? An intruder? We’ll never know.
11. Die Rakotzbrück in Gablenz, Germany
Despite its name, which means “Devil’s Bridge,” this isn’t one of the creepier sites on our list. (Did you see the island-full-of-decaying-dolls thing?)
Located in Gablenz, Germany, this nonfunctional bridge is a visual trick. No matter where you stand, the bridge and its reflection combine to form a perfect stone circle.
Built in 1860, the bridge is a favorite among photographers because of how cool it looks. It was designed for this sole purpose, obviously by someone who had a premonition about the invention of Instagram. Plan to go just to “ooh” and “ahh,” because it’s forbidden to walk on it now.
12. The Nazca Lines in Peru
If you’re one of the lucky folks who suffered through Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, you may recognize these. The Nazca Lines are a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Peru, and can only be appreciated from the air if you’re not Harrison Ford.
(We love your work. Forget what we just said.)
They are a series of giant geoglyphs, or designs etched into the ground, that cover an area of about 190 square miles. Much of it was created over 2,000 years ago and features both plants and animals as well as geometric shapes.
The size and their exact function remain a mystery, so some people think aliens were involved. Real original theory, guys. Let’s blame everything on the aliens. The missing slice of cake was for sure them, though.
13. The Hand in the Desert in Antofagasta, Chile
Give this giant hand a high five if you dare. Maybe it’ll make it feel better. It’ll definitely make you feel better. Doing good deeds is fun!
Located in Chile in the middle of the Atacama desert, this sculpture was created by Mario Irarrázabal, who is known for works that connect with human suffering.
Built in the early 1980s, the 36-foot-tall hand was requested by the city of Antofagasta as a monument to the emptiness of the desert. Maybe a water cooler would’ve been more prudent, but a giant hand works, too.
14. Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Giant’s Causeway in Ireland is made up of basalt columns that run along four miles of the northern coast. In this space, about 40,000 of these pillars poke out of the cliff faces. They were formed 50 to 60 million years ago as successive lava flows approached the coast but cooled down when they reached the sea.
Relatable. It reminds us of when we approach the gym ready to work out but then cool down before we make it inside.
Walking on top of these pillar-like rocks in Northern Ireland will make you feel like a giant, hence the name. Be sure to call out, “Fe Fi Fo Fum!” as you strut around to assert your dominance. Over…rocks.
15. Lake Natron in Tanzania
We’re back with all things creepy and morbid. Did you miss us?
Lake Natron is no blood river, but there are plenty of dead animals in it. This African lake has a pH as high as 10.5 and burns animals that aren’t used to it. At 9.8 feet deep, 35.4 miles long, and 13.67 miles wide, you should definitely avoid taking a dip in this. And bring an extra water bottle.
When an animal dies in this lake, they are turned into statues because of the high level of sodium bicarbonate. It’s as creepy and strange as it sounds. But we also just thought of a solution for the world’s roach problem.