Sometimes Mother Nature creates landscapes so fantastical that it is hard to believe they’re even real. Check out some of the most out-of-this-world landscapes on Earth.
Leave some other unusual and beautiful landscapes that aren’t covered on this list in the comments section!
1. Stone Forest, China
Covering over 150 square miles, China’s stone forest contains some amazing limestone pillars that range from 16 to to nearly 100 feet tall. From far away, the pillars do look like trees, thus the stone forest’s name.
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2. Mima Mounds, Washington State
Everything from gophers to earthquakes has been proposed as possible reasons for the mysterious mima mounds. The eerily uniform 4-6 feet tall mounds that dot the Western Washington prairie almost seem lunar.
Photo Credit: Mitchell Vorwerk
3. Pamukkale, Turkey
A popular tourist destination, the hot springs of Pamukkale, Turkey, have been bathed in for thousands of years. The tourist infrastructure surrounding the hot springs was demolished after its recent naming as a World Heritage Site.
4. Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand
The spherical boulders that dot the beaches of New Zealand were once underwater, and, after 4-5.5 million years and as many as 165 feet of mud later, exposed to the elements. Maori legend points to the boulders as the remains of fruits and vegetables that washed ashore after a canoe wreck.
5. Bisti Badlands, New Mexico
The Bisti Badlands are a little-visited wilderness area in the high desert lands of Northwestern New Mexico. Plants and wildlife are few and far between in the Bisti Badlands — instead, the desert is dotted with unusual rock formations.
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6. Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania
Though they may look like rice paddies, the tessellated pavement of Eaglehawk Neck is actually flat sedimentary rock that, due to erosion and seismic activity, formed into tile-like pavement.
By JJ Harrison via Wikimedia Commons
7. Dallol Volcano, Ethiopia
The lowest volcano on land in the world and the hottest place on earth, sulfur, iron hydroxide and ferris chloride color the unusual landscape of the Dallol Volcano.
8. Chocolate Hills, The Philippines
Somewhere between 1,200-1,700 hills dot the landscape of Bohol, Philippines. Underneath the grass, the “hills” are actually limestone. The name is derived from the hill’s appearance during the dry season — the grass turns brown and the hills look distinctly like chocolate kisses!