We live in a world filled with amazing landscapes.
There are several places on Earth which are so beautiful and breathtaking; they can’t even be described aptly. Most of us live our lives in our own bubbles unaware of how truly expansive and beautiful our world is. But what makes our planet so interesting is that just when you think you have seen it all, you realize you haven’t seen anything yet. Here are some of the most alien looking landscapes on our grand green Earth.
1) Aurora Borealis – A World within Our World
Popularly known as the northern lights, the Aurora Borealis is truly a spectacle to witness. The beautiful green light fills the sky over the North Pole in the night. The Cree people refer to it as the “Dance of the Spirits”. This phenomenon is caused when electrically charged particles that are released from the sun enter our atmosphere and collide with natural gases like oxygen. As beautiful they are to witness from Earth, they are even more breathtaking to view from space. The Aurora seen from space almost looks like a portal opening up to a strange unknown world.
2) Rio Tinto, Spain – Our Own Martian Landscape
The mines of Rio Tinto in Spain are truly one of the most uniquely strange places on Earth. The landscape looks very reminiscent of the images we have seen on Mars. Entire mountains, valleys and even villages have been consumed under it. The river that flows through contains extremophile aerobic bacteria which give it a vibrant red color. For more than 5000 years, various metals such as copper, gold and silver have been mined from this land. The Red River is also known as the birthplace of the Copper Age and the Bronze Age. Apart from its incredible historical significance, what really takes your breath away is how alien the landscape looks. One look at the Aerial view of the landscapes and you will catch a glimpse of our very own Martian landscape on Earth.
3) The Richat Structure, Mauritania – Bulls Eye on Earth
The Richat Structure is a gigantic circular formation found in the Sahara Desert. Located in Mauritania near Ouadane, the aerial view of this landscape looks like a huge bull’s-eye imprinted on the ground. The formation is nearly 50 kilometers wide and has been given the title of “The Eye of the Sahara”. It’s very easy to completely miss it while walking on the ground due to its sheer size but it’s impossible to miss when you see it from the sky.This landscape was discovered only after our first space mission due to this very fact. Some scientists believe that this formation began more than 100 million years ago.
4) Rotorua, New Zealand – The Spiral Chasms
Rotorua is a city located on the southern part of New Zealand and it is known for having one of the most alien-esque landscapes on Earth. Also known for a strange rotten eggs aroma caused by geothermal activity, Rotorua is also home to a landscape that looks eerily like an alien landscape. The volcanic activities around the region have created pools of colorful water and spiral shaped mounds on the ground.
5) Spotted Lake, British Columbia- The Lake of Holes
The Spotted Lake located in British Columbia is by far one of the strangest lakes you will ever come by. Just as the name suggests, this lake contains dozens of spots all across giving it a spotted look from afar. During the summer, most of the water evaporates and large spots appear on the surface. What makes it truly alien like is the fact the pools of water change color every summer depending on the mineral composition deposited at that specific time. These spots occur due to the crystallization of magnesium sulfate found in the lake. In the summer when the weather is hot, the minerals harden and lead to the creation of walkaways around the spots.
6) Danakil Depression, Ethiopia – The Land of Hellfire
The Danakil Depression located in Ethiopia is one of the hottest places found on Earth. The temperatures there go as high as an unbearable 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The region has two active volcanoes and other stunning but deadly formations such as a bubbling lava lake and even acid pools. The entire landscape looks like a screen right out of an Alien movie. This volcanic region is definitely one of the most other worldly landscapes you can find on Earth.
7) The Antelope Canyon, Arizona – The Most Colorful Canyon in the World
The Antelope canyon located in Arizona is surely a sight to behold. It is one of the most photographed canyons in the world and there is no surprise as to why. Once you enter the lower part of the canyon, it’s nearly impossible to stop your jaw from dropping. The canyon walls are shaped in beautiful designs and exhibit a variety of colors that dazzle you. You will see some of the walls spiraling inwards to each other whereas other walls fold and break into themselves. What gives the canyon its Alien-esque appearance is the years of erosion that have taken place there during the monsoons.
8) Waitomo Glowworm Caves – Gazing Into Space
Ever wanted to experience space without going there? The Waitomo Glowworm Caves located in New Zealand can give you the closest experience to what traveling through space may be like. These caves are truly one of the most breathtaking and beautiful places on Earth. Traveling through them gives you the distinct feeling that you are no longer on Earth and instead flowing through the abyss of space. What makes these caves so beautiful and strange are the Arachnocampa luminosa glowworms which radiate luminescent light and give the walls of the cave a starry appearance. It’s incredibly hard to describe the sheer beauty of these caves but the closest one can say is that is like traveling through a galaxy filled with small living lights. Pandora it seems is very much here on our Earth.