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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Chichibugahama – Japan’s Instafamous Mirror Beach

Chichibugahama Beach is a popular tourist destination in Mitoyo City, Japan which rose to fame thanks to photo-sharing social media platforms like Instagram.

If you ever find ourself doubting the power of social media, just remember the story of Chichibugahama Beach. A once obscure seaside destination in Japan’s Kagawa Prefecture, this place turned into a magnet for Instagram influencers virtually overnight. It all started in 2016 when authorities in Mitoyo City organized a photo competition to boost local tourism. One of the most eye-catching entries featured two children reflected in the shallow waters of Chichibugahama, and the visual effect was so stunning that the idea of using this mirror effect as a tourist draw turned into a marketing success story.

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Portugal’s Anchor Cemetery – A Symbolic Memorial to a Dead Industry

The sand dunes behind Barril Beach on Portugal’s southern Algarve Coast are home to over 200 rusty anchors abandoned there almost 60 years ago by the local tuna fishing community.

O Cemitério das Âncoras (The Anchor Cemetery) is one of the most iconic Sights of the Algarve Coast, yet not many people know its history and meaning. This isn’t just a random place where old ships abandoned their anchors many years ago, but a memorial to a now-defunct trade going back hundreds of years. In 1964, the local community decided to commemorate the death of traditional Bluefin Tuna fishing by burying the anchors that once formed the backbone of the complex tuna traps known as armações. They’ve remained there ever since as a reminder of the effect of industrialization and over-fishing on the locals.

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Centuripe – A Small Italian Town Shaped Like a Person

Centuripe, a small town tucked in the hills of Sicily, is known as “the balcony of Sicily” for the stunning views it offers across to Mount Etna, but few know that, from the air, the town itself is quite the sight.

Pio Andrea Peri, a 32-year-old local photographer, recently used his drone to capture the unique shape of Centuripe from high up in the sky. After first discovering the unusual shape of his town while looking at it on Google Earth, Peri decided to take his drone and check it out for himself. He was so surprised by what he saw on his monitor that he snapped a few photos and shared them on social media, where they went viral almost instantly. From the right angle, Centuripe looks like the silhouette of a person with their arms and legs stretched out.

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The Trembling Rock – A 132-Tonne Boulder That Anyone Can Move

The famous Trembling Rock of Huelgoat forest, in northeastern France, is a 7-meter-long, 137-tonne block of granite that anyone can move with their own hands, as long as they know how to push it.

The forest of Huelgoat is home to numerous large boulders and geological wonders, but Trembling Rock is by far the most popular of them all. The oblong boulder is so large and heavy that no human could ever hope to move it by themselves, and yet anyone, regardless of how skinny or weak they are, can gently rock it up and down just by pushing on the right spot. Left perched atop a much wider rock base in a unique position, Trembling Rock can make even the most feeble person on Earth look like the strongest person in the world.

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The Desert of Maine – An Unusual Tourist Attraction

The Desert of Maine, a 40-something-acre patch of sand and silt near the town of Freeport, is a geological oddity, natural wonder, and a warning of what irresponsible land use can create.

The “most famous natural phenomenon in Maine” is actually the result of poor land management over several generations. Although not technically a desert in its own right – the state of Maine gets way too much rain for it to qualify as such – the rolling dunes of sand covering the over 40 acres of land certainly look the part. The sand and silt have been there for at least tens of thousands of years, ever since the glaciers covering Maine, ground rocks into pebbles and pebbles into sand as they receded during the last ice age. But it was human activity that brought it back to the surface over 100 years ago.

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Monkey Mia – The Australian Paradise That Dolphins Visit Daily

If you’ve ever wanted to see a dolphin up-close in its natural habitat, and, if you’re lucky, even hand feed it a tasty treat, there’s no place to do it at than Monkey Mia, the only beach in Australia that dolphins visit every day.

The wild dolphins of Monkey Mia, on the coast of Western Australia, started getting used to people in the early 1960s, when local fishermen started throwing them fish. It didn’t take long for rumors of friendly bottlenose dolphins hanging around Monkey Mia to spread, and before long the popularity of the resort reached new all-time highs. However, by the 1980s, marine researchers noticed a disturbing trend – as adult dolphins became more dependent on humans for food, their calves’ mortality rate grew. Things got so bad that, according to some experts, 90 percent of the calves failed to reach adulthood. Luckily, conservation authorities started regulating dolphin feeding.

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Baljenac – Croatia’s Famous Fingerprint Island

Located off the coast of Croatia, in the Adriatic Sea, Baljenac is a tiny island covered by a series of dry-stone walls that make it look like a giant fingerprint when seen from above.

The oval-shaped island of Baljenac is covered by a 23-kilometer-long network of dry-stone walls. you’d think it was an ancient labyrinth, if not for the fact that the walls are only about waist high and designed solely to make agriculture easier in an inhospitable place. The rocky terrain and strong winds aren’t exactly ideal for plant cultivation, so the inhabitants of the nearby island of Kaprije built these stone walls to separate their crops and offer them some protection. It’s a technique used in other parts of Europe, like England or Ireland, but nowhere else do these walls imitate the pattern of a human fingerprint as they do on Baljenac Island.

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Sweden Hills – An Idyllic Piece of Sweden in Japan

Walking through the streets of Sweden Hills, with its traditional read-and-white Swedish houses, Swedish flags and traditional Swedish outfits, you’d never guess you were on the island of Hokkaido, in Japan.

Located in Tōbetsu, about 30 kilometers from Sapporo, the largest city on Hokkaido, Sweden Hills (スウェーデンヒルズ) was inspired by the visit of a Swedish ambassador in the area. During their visit, the Swedish diplomat remarked how similar the climate and landscape were to his native land, and that inspired developers in the area to build a settlement modeled on idyllic Swedish towns. Planning started in 1979, and the actual construction began in 1984. Today, Sweden Hills or Suēden Hiruzu is home to about 400 permanent residents, as well several hundred who only vacation here. It’s safe to say they are all massive fans of Swedish culture.

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World’s Largest Rhythmic Spring Stops Flowing Every 15 Minutes

Just east of Afton town, at the foot of a rocky mountain in Wyoming, lies one of the world’s most mysterious natural wonders – a rhythmic spring that intermittently stops and starts flowing around every 15 minutes.

Only a few rhythmic springs exist in the world, and Intermittent Spring in Wyoming’s Swift Creek canyon is the largest of them all. As its name suggests, this peculiar spring flows intermittently. You will see a large quantity of water using out of a hole in the mountain and then flowing down forming a large creek for about 15 minutes, and then dry up for another 15 before the cycle starts all over again. The reasons for this intermittent flow are not entirely understood, but scientists have a pretty sound theory.

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This New Zealand Lake Is the Clearest Body of Fresh Water Known to Man

Rotomairewhenua, also known as the Blue Lake of New Zealand’s Nelson Lakes National Park, is officially recognized as the clearest body of fresh water in the world.

Blue Lake is spring fed by the neighboring glacial Lake Constance, and the water passes through a natural debris damn formed a long time ago by a landslide. This debris acts as a natural filter that retains most of the particles suspended in the glacial water, making Blue Lake almost as clear as distilled water. New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) carried out scientific tests of the water and determined it to be the clearest natural body of fresh water known to man.

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Brazil’s Unique “Coca Cola Lagoon”

Ever dreamed of swimming in a lake of Coca Cola? Well, you can actually do just that at the unique Coca Cola Lagoon in Rio Grande del Norte, Brazil, where the water has the exact same color as the popular soft drink.

Looking at the water of Lagoa da Araraquara, it’s easy to see why it is popularly known as Coca Cola Lagoon. It has the same dark hue, but very different ingredients and no carbonation. Instead of caramel, the water of this popular lagoon is colored by a concentration of iodine and iron, in combination with the pigmentation of the reeds near its shores.

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Mount Thor – The World’s Tallest Vertical Rockface

Named after the Nordic god of Thunder, Mount Thor is the world’s tallest vertical rockface, which also makes it one of the most difficult rock formations to climb.

A part of the Auyuittuq National Park, on northern Canada’s remote Baffin Island, Mount Thor isn’t the park’s tallest peak, but it is definitely the most intimidating, especially when viewed from the west. It’s a 4,101-foot rock face, which makes it the longest vertical drop on the planet. But really, Mount Thor is steeper than vertical, as it is 105 degrees, making it more of an overhang. Many have tried scaling this monster overt he years, but dozens of rock climbers failed, until an American finally reached the summit in 1985, at the end of a grueling 33-day climb.

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Cono de Arita – Argentina’s Mysterious Natural Pyramid

The Salar de Arizaro, Argentina’s second largest salt flat, is home to one of the world’s most mysterious natural formations – Cono de Arita, a 200-meter-tall conical pyramid that’s so perfectly shaped that it appears man-made.

In fact, all through the early twentieth century, everyone was convinced that Cono de Arita, like the actual pyramids of Egypt, had been built my man. However, scientific research has since showed that this imposing formation is actually the tip of a small volcano that lacked the power to burst through the Earth’s curst and spew lava or develop a crater. Today it is considered the most perfect natural cone in the world.

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