6 Bizarre places on earth harboring lethal mysteries

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

Bizarre places on Earth are simply perplexing, whether you choose adventurous excursions or those known for spiritual encounters. There are parts of the planet that are so hostile that even a brief visit could be detrimental to your health. There are other communities where natural and anthropogenic hazards pose an ever-present danger to the people.

This list includes some of the Bizarre places on earth, ranging from the Arctic to the Pacific Ocean.

Bizarre places on earth

1. Danakil Desert, Ethiopia

Scenes from a science fiction film come to mind when I think of the sulfurous hot springs, acid pools, steaming fissures, and salt mountains that may be found in the Danakil Dessert.  

In spite of the fact that it can appear to be a living hell, the unearthly landscape is actually inhabited by people who mine salt from it. This location, however, is actually real and a popular tourist destination in Ethiopia. 

“It is truly one of the most alien places on the planet. It is one of the planet’s most remote, unliveable, hottest, and lowest points. Sounds a little frightening, but that’s what makes it so fascinating.”

Though it looks like hell, it is actually inhabited by people, especially miners who have been making the long journey to the salt pans near Lake Afar, frequently in the company of camel caravans, for generations. Up until the 20th century, Ethiopian currency was denominated in salt, the region’s “white gold.”

Bizzare Places on Earth - Danakil
In the warmest and most acidic pools, sulphur and salt create a shade that is more similar to neon yellow, whereas the colour of cooler copper-laced pools is more similar to turquoise.
Is it safe to see the Danakil Depression?

A guide and proper footwear are required.   Be cautious when walking in geothermal areas.”The salt crust is brittle, delicate, and unstable. You must have a clear plan of action and know where to put each foot.

The springs in Danakil have an average pH of 0.2 and a temperature of around 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 C). Considering that the pH of the bubbling pool is 3.5, dipping a finger into it would be like sticking it into lemon juice (2.4) or battery acid (1.0).

When to Go

Tours still operate, but the experience is often more arduous than pleasurable.

Peak season is from November and March when temperatures are slightly bearable but still at 90° F. The months of June through August, known as the off-season, are deemed “unsuitable.” 

Bizzare Places on Earth - Danakil Dessert Eutopia
Map of eastern Africa (a), showing the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia (b), where the Dallol Hot Springs are located (c). An overview of the survey area with the three sampling sites (an active fumarole chimney, a terrace of evaporitic precipitates, and a hydrothermal pool) is shown (d). A close-up of the three evaporite samples from the small fumarole chimney is also included (e). The maps are shown as satellite images from Google Maps. (Source: Daniel Carrizo of researchgate)

2. Lake Nyos, Cameroon

Shockingly silent, but fatally lethal. There were no indications of volcanic activity or impending natural calamity in Lake Nyos in Cameroon, West Africa. The inhabitants of the little towns that dotted the lake’s shores made their livings from farming and cattle-raising.

But on the evening of August 26, 1986, everything changed. A massive cloud of carbon dioxide gas was released from Lake Nyos and coated the surrounding communities, which resulted in the deaths of 1,746 people and 3,500 animals while they were sleeping.

 

Bizarre Places in Eaarth - Lakes Nyos 1986 Diagram

Volcanic activity is hidden beneath its surface. Magma underneath the lake releases carbon dioxide, which slowly filters up through the water. It’s like putting a cork in a bottle; the heavier, warmer water up top acts as a lid to trap the gas inside.

6 Bizarre places on earth harboring lethal mysteries
Lake Nyos - the deadliest lake in the world

3. Vanuatu, South Pacific

Paradise may seem, but deadly dangers lurk beneath Vanuatu’s surface. As it lies in the Pacific, Vanuatu is right on the ‘Ring of Fire,’ a dangerous seismic hotspot. Natural disasters are a constant threat in Vanuatu because the country hasn’t developed adequate response mechanisms, infrastructure, or policies to deal with environmental hazards.

Global warming has had a devastating impact on the 83 islands that make up the country, with rising sea levels reducing the land area and tropical storms making matters much worse. Subsequent natural disasters, such as mudslides and floods, may be triggered by these.

Cyclone Harold devastated Vanuatu in 2020, and the country has yet to fully recover. Summer in the Southern Hemisphere occurs from December to April, so this is cyclone season. Unfortunately, the island is shrinking as a result of rising sea levels, so if you want to visit, you should do so as soon as possible.

Bizarre Places in the Earth - Vanuatu

4. Fukushima, Japan

In Japan, Fukushima is a well-known location. The devastating earthquake that struck that region in March 2011 caused significant damage to the nuclear reactor that was located there.

It was the subsequent tsunami that caused a core meltdown at the power plant, as it sent a massive wave over 12 m high straight into the facility. More than 120 thousand residents in the area were forced to leave their homes due to the radiation danger.

In the present day, there is still an exclusion zone around the site of the disaster, and in July 2018, it was decided that the radiation levels inside the power plant were still at a level that made it unsafe for anybody to enter.

Reconsider your need to travel to the restricted areas near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Bizarre Places in the Earth - Fukishima Japan
The powerful 2011 earthquake and tsunami claimed at least 15,000 lives

5. Aral Sea, Central Asia

Disappearance Cause For Concern. The Aral Sea was once a massive lake, but it has been gradually shrinking since Soviet irrigation projects began using the water for other purposes in the 1960s. It was one of the worst things to happen to the environment in recent years. The Aral Sea is now divided into two bodies of water: the North Aral Sea, which is located in Kazakhstan, and the South Aral Sea, which is located in Uzbekistan. The extinction of the Aral Seas will have repercussions that are far-reaching for the populations that are dependent on the sea for the provision of its natural resources. The Aral Sea, which was once the fourth largest inland lake, has now split into two bodies of water that are only a tenth of their original size. This transformation occurred as a result of a combination of climate change and the drastic re-direction of water. This severe environmental change compelled farmers and coastal fishing communities to leave the Aral Sea basin and look for work possibilities elsewhere, which resulted in the local economy dissipating at a rate that was even quicker than the water level dropping.

Bizarre Places on Earth - Aral Sea
Landsat satellite imagery mosaics showing visible changes of the Aral Sea.

Along the coast of the Aral Sea, where there used to be vibrant agricultural communities, those communities have since vanished. The shrinking of the sea caused a worsening of the local environment and a quickening of the rate of insecurity throughout the region.

“Grass dried up, and the small freshwater lakes that once existed near the sea’s edge disappeared. Herds of antelope that used to roam the area dwindled to nothing. The summers became blisteringly hot, the winters bitingly cold… They spent half the year there in terrible conditions, without showers or toilets, infested with lice, and the rest of the year at home. As the sea receded, the climate began to change.”

Will there once again be water in the Aral Sea?

Due to the nature of the situation and the deterioration of the bottom, this cannot happen. If the current trajectory remains unchanged over the next 20 years, scientists predict that the Aral Sea will have completely vanished. The exposed seafloor spans a total area of 33,000 square kilometres and resembles a large sandy desert that is continuously being destroyed.

Bizarre Places on Earth - Aral Sea ships
Graveyard of ships in the Aral Sea.

6. Skeleton Coast, Namibia

What is it about the shore of Namibia that makes it such a dangerous place to be? It was feasible to land on the beach, but there was no way to go back into the water due to the severe conditions caused by the combination of onshore wind, sea fog, and heavy surf.

Those sailors who were unfortunate enough to find themselves shipwrecked on this desolate stretch of beach would subsequently be forced to contend with a harsh desert terrain that had sand dunes that seemed to go on forever. Those who did make it to land frequently perished as a result of malnutrition and exposure to the harsh climate along the coast.

The chilly Benguela current that originates in Antarctica is to blame for both the fog and the brisk winds. The park contains Namibia’s most surreal terrain, which consists of a pale, dead-flat shoreline broken up by sporadic rocky outcrops and fringed with arc-shaped barchan dunes. The park is located in Namibia. Barchan dunes, in contrast to the star dunes that can be found close to Sossusvlei in Namib-Naukluft National Park, are unstable and movable. These dunes have two horns that point downwind, which is the direction in which they travel.

The waters surrounding Mowe Bay are littered with jewels of varying hues that have been polished by the ocean waves. The sand is peppered with a variety of semi-precious stones, including red and maroon garnets, agates, amethysts, magnetite, ilmenite, and carnelians.

Bizarre Places on Earth - Skeleton-Coast-Namibia
It seems more like a mirage than real life -- lions stalking seals along a dazzling white sand strand that wouldn't look out of place in the Caribbean.

Our planet is home to numerous remote and potentially hazardous areas, some of which are located in close proximity to well-known travel locations that many of us have long dreamed of visiting. We really hope that this list of the bizarre places on earth will help you improve the way that you put together your bucket list. Don’t forget to let all of your traveling companions know about this as well!

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