Stunning scenery from Mother Nature
Hoh Rain Forest, Washington, USA
Located inside the Olympic National Park in the US state of Washington, Hoh Rain Forest is one of the country’s largest temperate rainforests and showcases the tranquillity of flora and fauna. More than 1,000 years old, the woodland is blanketed in unique mosses and ferns, while its striking sitka spruce and western hemlock trees can reach heights of 311 feet (95m).
We’ve all heard of Everest and Fuji, and while these peaks are mesmerizing in their own ways, Kirkjufell in Iceland is altogether more ethereal. The 1,519-foot (463m) mountain can be found on the island’s western coastline, an area defined by crystalline fjords, geothermal pools and dynamic waterfalls. It’s the most photographed peak in all of Iceland and was also used as Arrow Head Mountain in the TV series Game of Thrones.
Ala-Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan
As far as lakes go, Ala-Kul is one of the world’s most impressive. Nestled at an altitude of over 11,483 feet (3,500m) inside the Terskey Alatau mountain range in Kyrgyzstan, this stunning pool is one of the globe’s natural gems. Enclosed by snow-capped peaks, the glacial lake covers just 0.5 square miles (1.5sq km) but its vibrant cyan waters are enough to entice and delight even the most jaded of explorer.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
Antelope Valley, California, USA
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona, USA
Hanging Rock, New South Wales, Australia
Australia is awash with superb scenery but Blue Mountains National Park perhaps has the country’s most dynamic offering. An area characterized by sheer cliffs, sweeping valleys, tranquil eucalyptus forests and dramatic waterfalls, this region of eastern Australia is well worth a visit. In the heart of the landscape, Hanging Rock is a huge sandstone ledge that became detached from the main cliff and now juts out over Grose Valley, 328 feet (100m) up. Discover more of Australia’s natural wonders here.
Ik Kil, Yucatán, Mexico
Turda Gorge, Transylvania, Romania
Mount Kelimutu lakes, Flores, Indonesia
Geyzernoye Lake, Siberia, Russia
Aurora Australis, Tasmania, Australia
Most people have heard of the Northern Lights but the dazzling show offered in the Southern Hemisphere is equally as captivating. The Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights, is a dancing curtain of light that glows in every shade from pink to green. The result of energetic electrons colliding with atoms and molecules, this otherworldly multicolored show can be seen in Antarctica, New Zealand, southern Australia, Chile, and South Africa. Check out these stunning photos of the Northern Lights.
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona, USA
Angel Oak, South Carolina, USA
Towering up almost 65 feet (20m), this majestic tree is estimated to be around 500 years old. The Angel Oak, in Charleston, South Carolina, is thought to be the oldest living tree east of the Mississippi River. With a colossal trunk, the ancient oak spans an area of 17,000 square feet (1,579sqm), thanks to its sprawling branches and crown-like canopy.
Mendenhall Ice Caves, Alaska, USA
Pink Beach, Komodo Island, Indonesia
The Old Man Of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Helmcken Falls, British Columbia, Canada
Here to prove that not all waterfalls were made equal, the Helmcken Falls in British Columbia is a sight to behold. Positioned on the Murtle River within Wells Gray Provincial Park, this 462-foot (141m) wonder was discovered in 1913 by Robert Henry Lee. Helmcken is by far one of the most scenic spots in all of North America and visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the titan from a viewing platform on the rim of the canyon.
Prokletije, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro
There’s no denying the beauty of the Alpine landscapes of Switzerland, France and Italy, but many overlook the unmatched majesty of Prokletije, also known as the Albanian Alps. Positioned in the western Balkan peninsula, this breathtaking mountain range extends through Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro. Dotted with quaint villages, lush woodlands and rambling mountain passes, this region is an extraordinary spot for a hike.
Zhangye National Geopark, Gansu, China
Manjanggul Lava Tube, Jeju Island, South Korea
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Maranhão, Brazil
Over on Brazil’s North Atlantic coast, you’ll find a seemingly endless stretch of white sand dunes. Covering an area of 598 square miles (1,550sq km), this plain springs to life between May and September when rainwater trickles through the landscape and forms thousands of seasonal azure pools and lakes. A paradise for wildlife, this otherworldly landscape attracts a wealth of animals, including 42 species of reptile.
Five Flower Lake, Sichuan, China
China’s Jiuzhaigou Valley is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for very good reason and Five Flower Lake is perhaps its most dazzling feature. This serene lake is considered holy by many locals, thanks to its interchanging colors and the fact it doesn’t freeze, even in winter. Yet the mystery behind this unique wonder can be easily explained – home to hot springs, the pool also has aquatic plants which change color when exposed to sunlight.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA
Verdon Gorge, Provence, France
Dragon blood trees, Socotra Island, Yemen
The strange and mysterious formations of Yemen’s dragon blood trees might seem like the stuff of science fiction, but they’re very much real. These peculiar, mushroom-shaped trees are native to the Socotra archipelago and are scientifically known as Dracaena Cinnabari. The eye-catching tree got its more common name from its red resin which is used for medicine and dyes to this day. Take a look at more photos of the world’s most beautiful trees here.
Caño Cristales, Meta, Colombia
Within the Sierra de La Macarena National Natural Park in Colombia, this exquisite river is aptly nicknamed the River of Five Colors. Caño Cristales is considered one of the most beautiful waterways in the world and for several months each year, it dazzles with interchanging hues of pink, green, yellow, blue and black. This natural display occurs thanks to an endemic aquatic plant that changes color when exposed to sunlight.
Benagil Cave, Algarve, Portugal
Carrizo Plain National Monument, California, USA
Zambezi River, Africa
Lake St Clair, Tasmania, Australia
Lake St Clair is Australia’s deepest freshwater lake. Located in the Central Highlands area of Tasmania, this beautiful body of water is protected inside a Wilderness World Heritage Area. Also known as Leeawulenna (or Sleeping Water), the sublime pool was carved out by glaciers over the course of millions of years. See it on a hike and explore the surrounding pine forests and towering mountain peaks too.
Mount Assiniboine, Alberta/British Columbia, Canada
Nā Pali Coast, Hawaii, USA
We’re not sure about you but we’ve never seen anything more incredible than the Nā Pali Coast in Hawaii. This dazzling shoreline is punctuated by razor-sharp sea cliffs, delicate winding valleys and cascading waterfalls. The eye-catching area has had a silver screen moment too – it was the backdrop for 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Hubbard Glacier, Alaska, USA
Buttermere, Lake District, England
Palouse, Washington, USA
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, South Island, New Zealand
Thor’s Well, Oregon, USA
Nicknamed the drainpipe of the Pacific, Thor’s Well appears to be stealing water from the sea itself. The natural sinkhole is nestled on the coast of Oregon, close to Cape Perpetua, and is thought to have started out as a sea cave that eventually collapsed into itself. Thought to be around 20 feet (6m) deep, the hole becomes even more mesmerizing at high tide or during intense storms when water violently thrashes over the rocks. Discover more mysterious places around the world here.
Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
Hamilton Pool Preserve, Texas, USA
It’s hard to resist jumping in this natural swimming hole, around 20 miles (32km) west of Austin. Entirely inviting, the shimmering emerald pool was once hidden underground until its limestone roof collapsed, revealing this oasis. Now a popular swimming spot for locals and visitors alike, the pool is fed by a 50-foot (15m) waterfall and is only accessible to those with a reservation.
Taughannock Falls, New York, USA
Mayon Volcano, Albay, Philippines
Fly Geyser, Nevada, USA
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, USA
Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Landmannalaugar, Highlands, Iceland
Mount Bromo, East Java, Indonesia
Hamersley Gorge, Western Australia, Australia
Maroon Bells, Colorado, USA
Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming, USA
There’s no way Yellowstone National Park’s Grand Prismatic Spring could be left off this list. The vivid blue center of the geyser is surrounded by bands of glorious color, created by the heat-loving bacteria that live there. From above, the pool looks just like a painting of the sun. With a depth of 164 feet (50m), the spring reaches temperatures of 160°F (70°C).
Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina
Located inside Los Glaciares National Park in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina, Perito Moreno Glacier is otherworldly. Considered one of the most important tourist attractions in Patagonia, the epic glacier covers around 121 square miles (313sq km). Every two to four years in mid-March, the large arched section of the glacier falls into Lake Argentino below and the spectacular event usually attracts thousands of tourists. Now discover gorgeous photos of the last unspoiled places on Earth.
Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
Acadia National Park spans 47,000 acres and is characterized by its lush forests, craggy beaches and iconic granite peaks – the greatest of which is the Cadillac Mountain. Considered the jewel in the crown of the North Atlantic Coast, this lush landscape usually attracts 3.5 million visitors every year. As well as drop-dead-gorgeous scenery, the area is known for its wildlife such as bears and whales. Take a look at more of America’s natural wonders here.
Travertine terraces, Pamukkale, Turkey
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan, China
The strange and unique landscape of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park features marvelous sandstone pillars, towering up from a seemingly endless gorge. Located in Hunan, China, this bizarre but beautiful topography looks otherworldly. In fact, so fantastical is this dream-like place, that James Cameron used it as inspiration for his sci-fi hit Avatar.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Covering a spectacular expanse of almost 115 square miles (300sq km), Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. It’s celebrated for its 16 striking lakes, which are interconnected by a series of dramatic waterfalls that cascade down into a picturesque limestone canyon. The surrounding woodlands are renowned for their wildlife, including bears and wolves. Discover more of Europe’s stunning national parks here.
Source: Read Full Article