The world's 20 most intriguing places
Posted on 27/09/2020

CultureFrance

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Natural or man-made, the world is full of weird places. From elegant geological formations to grotesque sculptures and eerie landscapes, here's a tour of the world's most intriguing sites.

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  • Crooked Forest, Poland
    Crooked Forest, Poland

    If you're a fan of nature's oddities, this forest full of weirdly-shaped pine trees will delight you. All the trees in this grove are sharply bent to the north just above ground level, taking their natural upright form again after having grown three to nine feet sideways. No one really knows what happened to the pines, whether it was the result of human intervention or just one of nature's whims, but it sure makes for an intriguing sight.

    The curvy trees seem to have been frozen in their current shape as they were all dancing the same choreography. Makes you think about what nature does when humans are not around.

  • Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
    Door to Hell, Turkmenistan

    The Darvaza gas crater, also known as the Door to Hell, looks like a terrifying portal to the underworld. The crater's flames seem eternal, never diminishing in intensity as they menacingly emanate from the depths of the abyss.

    This horrifying ever-burning hole was created in 1971 by Soviet engineers who accidentally drilled into a natural gas field and corrected their mistake by subsequently setting the crater on fire to avoid a methane gas leak. They originally thought that the gas would burn out after a few weeks. But it's been 47 years, and the devilish blaze doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

  • Hand of the Desert, Chile
    Hand of the Desert, Chile

    This sculpture at the heart of the Atacama Desert represents a 36-foot-high hand emerging out of the sand and reaching towards the sky. The empty, arid moonscape surrounding the monument only adds to its eerie character. You can't help but imagine the rest of the giant's body, moving inside the Earth as he tries to surface.

    As you approach the awe-inspiring wonder, you'll get an unshakable doomsday-like feeling. Hopefully you won't be around when the giant wakes up.

  • Ludbreg Center of the World, Croatia
    Ludbreg Center of the World, Croatia

    Ever wondered where the center of the world is? Well apparently it's in Croatia. How did we come do this conclusion, you might ask? From an inaccurate geographical calculation made by a Swiss doctor in the 19th century, but let's not take the fun out of it.

    Ludbreg has no intention of refuting the doctor's claims, as the quaint town is now used to the idea of the world revolving around it. The main square is decorated with a plaque representing the town surrounded by a succession of concentric circles adorned with names of world cities, echoing a version of the solar system where everything orbits around Ludbreg. No better place to be full of yourself, that's for sure.

  • Pamukkale, Turkey
    Pamukkale, Turkey

    This natural wonder in Turkey nicknamed the "cotton palace" seems to come straight out of a fairy tale. The hill made of white, glistening limestone was shaped by the thermal springs over the course of centuries, creating this fascinating sight. Mineral-rich waters glide along the mountain's slope, gathering in a multitude of terraced basins with an otherworldly azure color.

    Nearby lies the spa town of Hierapolis, which was founded by the Attalid kings of Pergamon at the end of the 2nd century B.C. Vestiges from the Greco-Roman period include thermal baths, temple ruins, a necropolis, and a theatre, which you can visit for a bit of culture after your leisure time at Pamukkale.

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