Helensburgh Glow Worm Tunnel – An Otherworldly Tourist Attraction

The small Australian town of Helensburgh is home to one of the most amazing places on the planet – an abandoned railway tunnel that glows an eerie blue at night.

The Helensburgh Glow Worm Tunnel is an abandoned rail tunnel in Helensburgh, New South Wales which has become famous both for the ghost stories surrounding it and the glow worm colony that give it its iconic bioluminescent blue glow. Originally known as the Metropolitan tunnel, the 624-meter-long underground passage was inaugurated at the end of the 19th century and used to transport coal from the local mine to the suburbs. However, it closed down a couple of decades later and remained abandoned until the mid-90s, enough time for a colony of glow worms to claim it for themselves…

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The World’s Largest Monastic Library Is Also One of the Most Beautiful

Admont Abbey, a Baroque monastery in Austria, hosts the world’s largest monastic library, which also happens to be a stunning work of art.

Dating back to the year 1074 when the Benedictine monks of Salzburg decided to found their own abbey in the town of Admont, Admont Abbey is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region of Styria. And while the entire monastic complex is impressive, the 70-meter-long library is undoubtedly the abbey’s main attraction. Featuring flamboyant ceiling frescoes, wooden sculptures, gold busts, gilded bookshelves, and no less than seven frescoes-decorated cupolas, this is definitely one of the world’s most beautiful libraries.

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The Anti-Pirate Houses of Ikaria Island

The Greek Island of Ikaria in the Aegean Sea is home to numerous camouflaged houses built under giant rocks to make them harder to spot by pirates.

Nowadays, Ikaria is a popular tourist destination famous for its sandy beaches, picturesque villages and pristine natural landscape. But it wasn’t always the slice of paradise it is today. Hundreds of years ago, Ikaria was a prime target for the pirates who called the Aegean their home, so to protect themselves from their raids, the locals started building ‘anti-pirate’ homes deep into the mountains, to make their island look uninhabited from the sea. At one point, the entire population of Ikaria concealed itself in rock houses that didn’t attract attention unless you literally walked past them.

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The World’s Smallest Town Has Only Two Streets and Three Rows of Houses

Hum is a picturesque hilltop settlement in Croatia’s Istria region whose main call to fame is being the smallest town in the world.

Located in central Istria, approximately a 2.5 hours drive from Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb, the medieval hilltop town of Hum is home to between 20 and 30 people (21 according to the 2011 national census, and 27 as of 2021). Its origins are shrouded in mystery, but its first mention in historical documents dates back to the year 1102, when it was called Cholm. A bell and watch tower was built in 1552 as part of the town’s defenses, and guards and their families started moving in, but the town never really developed over the centuries, and even today it consists of just three neat rows of medieval houses and two streets.

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The World’s Highest ATM Sits Atop a 4,693-Meter-Tall Mountaintop

The highest-altitude cash machine in the world is located at the Khunjerab Pass border between China and Pakistan, at an elevation of 4,693 meters.

Over the past few decades, the ATM has become one of the world’s most ubiquitous pieces of technology, but you wouldn’t expect to see one while trekking through the snow-covered mountains of Pakistan, now would you? And yet, the Khunjerab Pass border pass in Pakistan’s northern Gilgit-Baltistan province is home to the world’s highest fully-functional ATM. Installed by the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in 2016, the solar- and wind-powered cash machine is a truly unusual sight to behold in such an isolated place as Khunjerab Pass, the highest paved border crossing in the world.

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This Man-Made Mound in Rome Consists of Millions of Ancient Amphorae

Monte Testaccio, an artificial mound in Rome composed almost entirely of broken pottery, might be the largest trash heap in the ancient world.

At first glance, Monte Testaccio looks like an ordinary greenery-covered mound, the likes of which can be found all over the world. But underneath all that shrubbery and the thin layer of dirt that supports it lies the largest pile of discarded pottery in the history of the ancient world. Covering an area of 2 hectares and with a volume of approximately 580,000 cubic meters, Monte Testaccio consists almost exclusively of millions of broken ancient pottery containers known as amphorae. It is estimated that this man-made mound consists of  53 million amphorae, which would make it the largest trash heap in the ancient world.

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The Highest Tides in Europe Are Quite a Sight to Behold

Saint Malo, a historic French port on the English Channel coast, is famous for having the highest tides in Europe, with breakwater defenses barely keeping giant waves from slamming into residential buildings.

Seeing Saint Malo at low tide and then again at high tide is like looking at two completely different towns. The buildings and the way they are laid out are the same, but the existence of a beach as wide as the eye can see at one point, and the complete lack thereof just a few hours later is truly strange. And not only does the ocean come in hard at high tide, but it’s strong as well, with giant waves pounding against the waterfront and splashing up to the top of exposed buildings.

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Khunzakh – Literally Living on the Edge in Dagestan

The ancient village of Khunzakh, in Dagestan, is literally perched on the edge of a deep canyon, making it one of the most awe-inspiring human settlements in the world.

Before Khabib Nurmagomedov took the MMA world by storm and became the undisputed champion of the UFC Lightweight Division, most people hadn’t even heard of Dagestan. Today, it’s almost associated with the legendary mixed martial arts master, but the Russian autonomous republic is actually home to a number of wonders that the world has yet to discover. Today, we’re featuring Khunzakh, a very old village with a very unique location – right on the edge of a 100-meter-deep canyon.

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This European Football Stadium Has an Active Railway Track Passing Right Through It

Slovakian amateur football club TJ Tatran Cierny Balog prides itself on having one of the most unique stadiums in the world, complete with a railway track and a steam engine running straight through it.

Cierny Balog, a small Slovakian town of about 5,100 people, has become somewhat of a tourist spot in the last seven years or so, and it was all thanks to its football stadium. In 2015, a video of a steam engine passing through the stadium, on tracks positioned right between the field and the only existing grandstand went viral online, leaving a lot of people scratching their heads. Was it CGI, was it just part of a one-time event, or was there actually a train regularly passing right through the stadium? Well, as weird as it sounds, that last one was actually correct. The Čiernohronska Railway goes right through Cierny Balog stadium, and a steam-powered tourist train passes through it all summer long.

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This Mindboggling Overpass Is Considered the World’s Most Difficult to Navigate

Featuring 20 ramps intertwined over five levels and connecting three major expressways, the Huangjuewan Overpass in Chongqing is considered to be the world’s most complicated overpass.

When the first photos of Huangjuewan Overpass first hit the internet, a few years back, they cause a mix of shock, amazement and concern, especially among motorists. Many were wondering how on Earth less-experienced drivers were supposed to find their way with so many ramps and lanes to choose from. And, even if you consider yourself an experienced driver, Huangjuewan does look a little daunting, at least at first sight. Despite its designers’ claims that it looks much more complicated than it truly is, Huangjuewan has become known as the world’s most complicated overpass.

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Ancient Wonder – The 1,600-Year-Old Iron Pillar That Refuses to Rust

The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque complex in New Delhi is home to an ancient wonder of metal work – a 1,600-year-old iron pillar that is exceptionally resistant to rust.

The Iron Pillar of Qutub Minar, as this ancient monument is sometimes referred to, measures 7.21-meters-tall, has a diameter of 41 centimeters and weighs about 6 tons. It’s also more than a millennium and a half old, believed to have been erected during the reign of Chandragupta II, one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta Empire. And even though it has spent all that time outdoors, the Pillar of Qutub Minar shows almost no sign of rust damage. For decades, scientists and metal workers from all over the world speculated about the properties of this unusual marvel, and it wasn’t until 2003 that the mystery was finally cracked.

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The Indian Town Where Human and Leopard Allegedly Live in Harmony

Bera, a small town in the Indian state of Rajasthan is famous for being the only place on Earth where humans and leopards live in perfect harmony.

India is one of the most densely-populated countries on Earth, and as humanity continues to encroach on the still-uninhabited woodlands and mountains, conflicts between leopards and humans are inevitable. In fact, with human expansion at peak levels and the number of leopards higher than they’ve been in decades, tensions between the two species are growing. But there’s one place where humans and leopards have allegedly been living in peace and harmony for at least a century. Known as “leopard country”, the town of Bera is said to contain the highest concentration of leopards on the planet.

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This Wooden Shack in the Middle of a Desert Is the World’s Most Remote Post Office

Deep in the Tengger Desert of Inner Mongolia, surrounded by sand dunes as far as the eye can see, lies the world’s loneliest post office, a surprisingly bustling outpost of human connection.

Measuring only 15 square meters, the wooden post office of Tengger Desert is not much to look at, but that’s ok, it doesn’t get too many visitors anyway. Besides, after being abandoned for over 35 years, it actually doesn’t look half bad. Thanks to the efforts of a few intrepid individuals who learned about the existence of an old abandoned desert post office by mistake, it has been given a new lease on life, and thanks to the magic of the internet, it has actually become quite a busy operation.

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China’s Famous ‘Strange Slope’ Appears to Defy Gravity

Strange Slope is a natural tourist attraction in China’s Liaoning Province, where a strange phenomenon causes things to roll uphill and prevents them from rolling downhill.

Located at the foot of Maoshan Mountain, near the city of Shenyang, the Strange Slope scenic area is considered one of the eight natural wonders of Liaoning Province. It was discovered in 1990, when, local stories say, a police officer stopped his car in the area and, taking his foot off the brake, noticed his vehicle slowly rolled uphill, all the way to the top. Word of the bizarre phenomenon spread like wildfire, and before long, people from all over the country, and even from abroad, were coming to see the gravity-defying slope in person. Authorities cleaned the place up, created separate lanes for bikes and cars, and Strange Slope became one of the most popular scenic areas in Liaoning.

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Kjeragbolten – A Photo-Friendly Boulder Wedged Over a 3,228-Foot Deep Abyss

Kjeragbolten is one of the most instagrammable places in Norway. It’s an ancient boulder wedged in a crevasse by the edge of Kjerag mountain, in Lysefjord.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen photos of people standing on this giant boulder wedged in-between two stone walls, above this seemingly bottomless abyss. Well, technically, the abyss is 984 meters or 3,228 feet deep, so in terms of chances of survival in case of a fall, it might as well be bottomless. However, despite its dramatic appearance, Kjeragbolten is relatively easy to access on foot without any special equipment, making it one of the hottest tourist spots in Norway.

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