The salt flats of Bolivia
The Salar de Uyuni salt flats of Bolivia, covering more than 10,000 square kilometres, are the most extensive in the world, and so level that the surface is used to calibrate the altimeters on board satellites. On a still day, the thin layer of water covering the salt forms a great mirror reflecting the sky.
Piled up in pyramids is the salt from which the people of the village
of Colchani eke out a living. Yet beneath the shiny expanse is a brine
rich in lithium salts that have huge commercial potential. According to the latest report by the US Geological Survey,
Salar de Uyuni contains 9 million tonnes of lithium, more than a
quarter of the world's known resources. This could rise to about 50 per
cent if the lithium in more than 30 other salars and lagoons in south-western Bolivia is included.
Lithium is increasingly required for the batteries that power phones,
laptops, cordless tools and a range of hybrid and electric vehicles -
so much so that there are fears that demand will soon outstrip supply. Talk that impoverished Bolivia could become "the Saudi Arabia of lithium"
has encouraged its socialist president, Evo Morales, to keep this
valuable resource under tight state control. The country has spent three
years and more than $10 million on a pilot plant to extract the
lithium. But according to Juan Carlos Zuleta, a lithium economics
analyst based in the capital, La Paz, this has so far produced "only
Exploiting Salar de Uyuni's lithium could come at a cost. One concern is wildlife: the region is a breeding ground for rare flamingos. Another is the health of local people. A study by Karin Broberg
of Lund University, Sweden, in four mountain villages in the
Argentinian Andes has found that women there ingest so much lithium from
groundwater that they suffer similar symptoms to those seen with
hypothyroidism: weight gain, fatigue, depression and memory loss. The
condition may also be experienced by people being treated with lithium
for bipolar disorder. "Now we really would like to study the problem of
lithium exposure in drinking water in Bolivia," Broberg says.
While not edible, or at all fudge-like, the Chocolate Hills of the Philippines are a fascinating natural phenomena of nearly 2000 grass-covered limestone hills. The Chocolate Hills are considered haycock hills due to their symmetrical, conical shapes and vary from between 100 and 400 feet high. For much of the year, the Chocolate Hills are vibrant green, but during the dry season, the grass on these mounds dries up, effectively turning them brown. Quite deservedly, the Chocolate Hills are one of the Philippines most popular tourist attractions.
The Chocolate Hills are nestled in Bohol, and the region is so proud of them that they are featured on the provincial flag. However, since the people of Bohol can't actually eat the chocolate of the hills, the space in between each hill is used for rice crops and other farming. While the Chocolate Hills are unique to the area, similar haycock hills exist in Eastern Europe and the Caribbean, but these tend to remain green year-round.
These chocolate kisses are formations of marine limestones, and over time, have been eroded by rainwater. Evidence of such marine origins is found in fossils in the limestone of mollusks, coral, and algae. However, scientific explanation of the origin of the Chocolate Hills is often overshadowed by legends hypothesizing their formation.
There are many different legends about the origins of the hills, and most involve giants, in order to explain the size of the mounds. They go as follows: two giants were violently throwing rocks and boulders at each other. Soon they became tired, and, bonded by their exhaustion, became friends. They left hand in hand, forgetting to clean up after themselves. Thus, the chocolate hills. Alternatively, a giant fell in love with a mortal, who died. The giant was devastated and heavy tears fell from his eyes. The tears hardened in globs on the land. Thus, the chocolate hills.
Rio Tinto in Spain
The Rio Tinto, originating in the Sierra Morena mountains of Andalusia, Spain, has an unusual blood red hue due to its high iron content. The site along the river has been mined for copper, silver, gold and other metals for over 5 000 years. However strangely beautiful it may be, this river is actually an environmental disaster due to its heavy metal contamination. This river has gained recent scientific interest due to the presence of extremophile aerobic bacteria that dwell in the water. The rocks on the river bed contain iron and sulfide minerals on which the bacteria feed. Scientists compares the extreme chemistry of the river to the liquid water found on Mars.
On the North Coast of Ireland lays the Giant’s Causeway, an awesome rock formation with 40,000 hexagonal columns shooting up from the ground.
How the Giant’s Causeway was formed: The story behind the Giant’s Causeway is pretty cool too. Apparently, an Irish giant named Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn McCool) wanted to prove his superior strength and status. So he challenged the giant across the Irish sea, the Scottish giant Benandonner, to a fight but there were no boats large enough for him to get across the Irish sea. So he started making a pathway of stepping stones from Ireland to Scotland, and off he went, without getting his feet wet.
When he made it to Benandonner’s place, he saw how big Benandonner was before Benandonner noticed him. So he sprinted back to Ireland in fear, ran into his house and crawled into his crib! When Benandonner noticed the causeway was finished, he ran across the water to challenge Fionn Mac Cumhail, he knocked on the door and Fionn’s wife told Benandonner not to wake ‘the baby’. When Benandonner saw how big Fionn Mac Cumhail’s ‘baby’ was, he was terrified and sprinted back to Scotland, tearing up the causeway as he
The ameoba-shaped Spotted Lake, or Klikuk in the indigenous language, changes colors throughout the year and during the summer time divides itself into white, green or yellow pools. The unusual qualities of the lake are the result of the massively high concentrations of salts, titanium, calcium, sulphates and other minerals that form “walkways” underwater when the lake is fully covered. After evaporation lowers the lake level in hot weather the walkways, and the “spots” they frame, are revealed.
Or, at least, that’s the scientific explanation. When you visit in person it is more fun to imagine that you are living within the scene of a Dr. Seuss book
Socotra Island, Indian Ocean
Socotra Island or Soqotra is part of a group of four islands in the Indian Ocean, has been geographically isolated from mainland Africa for the last 6 or 7 million years. The island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, a full 1/3 of which are endemic.
The climate in Socotra Island is harsh, hot and dry, the most amazing plant life thrives there. Situated in the Indian Ocean 250 km from Somalia and 340 km from Yemen. The trees and plants of this island were preserved thru the long geological isolation, some varieties being 20 million years old.
The island was recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a world natural heritage site in July 2008.
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
In the far north of Arizona, the Vermilion Cliffs provide the most visible feature in one of the five new BLM-administered national monuments that were established in 2000. Like the others, the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is marked only by a few signposts and is likely to remain without any particular visitor facilities or other improvements - this is a place for people to explore by themselves, though still most tourists zip by on US 89 or US 89A, en route between Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon and Lake Powell, without stopping in this scenic region.
Much of the area is an isolated plateau, flat and sandy, with just a few scattered ranches and occasional 12th century Anasazi remains - known as the Sand Hills, access is very limited and there are no obvious attractions here. The most interesting parts are the edges, as at the top is the Buckskin Gulch, the longest slot canyon in the Southwest, followed by the lower Paria River Gorge, a deep, watery canyon that rivals any in the much more famous Zion National Park. The west edge of the plateau is formed by a long ridge of eroded, upturned strata (the Coxcomb) which has much colorful, weathered rock formations including 'The Wave', while the south and east edges are formed by the Vermilion Cliffs themselves, which must be one of the most spectacular and extensive cliff faces in the US - unusually colorful because of the especially variegated Chinle Formation that forms the lower strata, the escarpment runs for over 30 miles and reaches heights of 2,000 feet. Further to the southeast, the land is quite flat for 100 miles or more though is split by the Colorado River, at the start of its Grand Canyon.
Perito Moreno Glacier satiated in Patagonia the city of the Argentina near the Los Glacier national park, it is the great tourist attraction because of his accessibility and the impressive size. Perito Moreno Glacier width is 5 kilo meter and 3 miles, and the height average above the water is 74 meters and 240 feet . It is a very beautiful Glacier in Patagonia . The visitors come their and walk around the glacier and see the beautiful glacier mountain in any angles and take pictures of this Perito Moreno Glacier by self.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is located in the southern n part of the Wulingyuan Scenic Zoon. The several thousand mountain peaks of quartz stand rise abruptly from the ground. Streams flow through the Jinbian (Gold Whip) Stream Grand Canyon which is flanked by sheer cliffs. The Sightseeing Platform at Huangshi Village is shrouded in mist. Wild animals play freely in the primeval forests. The scenic zone is like a fairy land with the beaury of wild nature.
In 1982 it was recognized as China's first national forest park (4,810 hectares). Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was designated a much larger (397.5 km²) Wulingyuan National Park by the State Council on August 1, 1988. In 1992, Wulingyuan National Park was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was then approved by the Ministry of Land and Resources as Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest National Geopark (3,600 km²) in 2001. In 2004, Zhangjiajie Geopark was listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Spreading south from Alice Springs all the way the South Australia border and beyond, Simpson Desert offers many natural, cultural and historical attractions. Some of the places on visitors must list are: Sandstone bluff of Rainbow Walley in James Ranges, Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve, Chambers Pillar, remote Aboriginal communities of Santa Theresa and Titjikala and more. For visitors requiring more fun and action camel trekking trips across the Simpson Desert are a must.
Angkor Archaeological Park
The Angkor Archaeological Park is a famous temple complex in Cambodia
.The Angkor Archaeological Park is an area with many temples north of
the city of Siem Reap . Angkor Wat is one of these temples. In tourism
parlance, the term ‘Angkor Wat’ but often for the whole area. It is also
referred to the period of the years 850-1200 simply the Angkor period.
Since 1992, Angkor Wat is on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage .
Riomaggiore Italy is a small village located in the Cinque Terre
Italy. The mountainous coastal area first became a popular
tourist destination after the painter Telemaco Signorini
lived and painted in the village in the mid 1800s. The
village is known for Riomaggiore wine, which is produced locally
in the town’s wineries. Riomaggiore travel can be
spent enjoying a glass of wine at the central bar, hiking
along rugged trails, or watching for marine life at the
One of Iceland’s top attractions, the Blue Lagoon
is a natural hot spring of geothermal seawater that is probably not only incredibly relaxing, but its really good for your skin too. The lagoon is situated in a lava field, and the water temperature ranges from 98-102 °F! It sounds and looks heavenly.
Blue Lagoon which communicates world of healing power, wellness and beauty, is founded on a unique source of geothermal seawater that originates in Iceland’s extreme environment. This must-see attraction is famous for the healing qualities of its silica mud and mineral-rich geothermal waters, which glow a radiant blue in stark contrast to the moon-like lava formations surrounding the area. A visit to the spa promotes harmony between mind, body and spirit, and enables one to soak away the stress of modern life. The Blue Lagoon also operates a Research and Development facility to help find cures for other skin ailments using the mineral-rich water. The spa’s guests rekindle their relationship with nature, soak up the scenic beauty and enjoy breathing the clean, fresh air. Every year the site attracts more than 400,000 visitors for its legendary beautifying properties, and Condé Naste Traveller voted Blue Lagoon one of the Top 10 best medical spas in the world.
Dots of emerald green surrounded by shining turquoise waters! Maldives Islands look like scattered beads in the ocean. White powdery beaches, tall palms leaning on towards the sea, crystalline white sands giving way to crystal clear waters and shades of turquoise blending flawlessly with deeper hues of blue – the charming sights to behold in Maldives are many. Add to that, pristine coral reefs and some of the most incredible underwater life on earth. Maldives remains a prime tourism destination visited by millions. Maldives is an archipelago of one thousand one hundred and ninety low-lying coral islands scattered in Indian Ocean, in groups of twenty six naturally occurring atolls.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming, which is a state of U.S. this park is usually believed as the first National Park in the world. It doesn’t look like a normal park which has gardens and seats and either playing grounds for kids. It is not famous for the events held there. It is famous for its natural beauty. It is famous for the miraculous places which is lying there such as, the Yellowstone’s grand vistas, the giant mountains, the prosperous rivers, the deep canyons, the high plains, the expansive lush meadows and also for the its abundant wild-life. it also has several types of ecosystems.
The Yellowstone National Park lies in a total area of 2,219,791 acres. It was recognized as a park in 1st march 1872. The park is old but very amazing. As we know, that the more a place/thing gets ancient, that more we want’s to own them or see them. Just like that millions of people love to visit this park.
Yellowstone National Park is extensively considered as the best mega fauna wildlife habitats in the inferior 48 states. You can find different types of animals there, such as buffalos, fractious bears, black bears, elks, moose, mule deer, prong Homs, wolverines, bighorn sheep and mountain lions. It is not a very safe place for the visitors who come for sight-seeing. But it is a perfect area for the wildlife photographers. The park is accomplished to defend cultural and natural resources and unresolved scenery, and to afford for visitor use.
Glass Beach Fort Bragg
Glass Beach is a unique beach, not because nature made it that way, but because time and the pounding surf have corrected one of man’s mistakes.
In the early 20th century, Fort Bragg residents threw their household garbage over the cliffs above what is now Glass Beach. It is hard to imagine this happening today, but back then people dumped all kinds of refuse straight into the ocean, including old cars, and their household garbage, which of course included lots of glass.
Beginning in 1949, the area around Glass Beach became a public dump, and locals referred to it as “The Dumps.” Sometimes fires were lit to reduce the size of the trash pile, however in 1967, the city leaders closed the area. Over the next several decades the pounding waves cleansed the beach, wearing down the discarded glass into the small, smooth, colored trinkets that cover the beach today.
Long before there were recycling bins in every household, the standards for where and how people can deposit their trash were much lower and less regulated.
While that was bad the environment in some parts of the country and may well have done years of irreparable damage to the atmosphere, there is one spot where shameful trash deposit practices lead to something rather beautiful.
Glass Beach near Fort Bragg in Northern California used to be the spot where residents brought all forms of their trash- from their old cars to their kitchen leftovers- to a dump located on the beach starting in 1949.
Only in the early 1960s did officials begin to regulate what was dumped on the beach, first putting a stop to toxins and then to everything when the North coast Water Quality Board moved the official dump to a different location in 1967.
Though that was nearly half a century ago, the remnants are still very clear.
Much of the glass that was left on the beachfront during its dirty past has not gone far, and years of the thrashing waves have softened and polished the broken pieces.
Now the beach is covered with stone-sized pieces of sea glass, coloring the seascape and adding a tourist element to the natural beauty of the spot
Glass Beach is part of the MacKerricher State Park and has another side to its history, as it is the only area of the Califonira Park System to have been at one point in time a part of the Mendocino Indian Reservation.
Because of this historic significance, the beach is maintained by the parks department which does its best to preserve the natural, and not-so-natural, beauty of Glass Beach.
'Rangers are currently working to educate and inform the public and we confiscate and return collected sea glass to the beach whenever possible,' ranger Tim Quandt told the official Fort Bragg website.
The beach, located about three-hour’s drive north of San Francisco, is a major tourist attraction. While that is good for the locals, it does present a problem for conservationists who want to stop visitors from taking pieces home with them.
'The truth of the matter is that it is a misdemeanor to remove any artifacts from State Park property. Park rangers have not begun citing offenders...yet, but that day will eventually arrive,' Mr Quandt continued.
This exotic site is located in the Denizli Province which is in the south western region of Turkey. This site is famous all around the world for its terraces of carbonate minerals which are formed due to the flowing water. At this place you can also find travertines and hot springs. This world famous site appears like a Cotton Castle that is why various people from all around the world come to visit this place.