This world is full of mystery, wonder, and natural splendor. If you live in a densely populated area like I do, then you probably also daydream about going out into nature, where there is no responsibility or anything to get in your way. As beautiful as the world can be, however, there are some natural phenomena that are decidedly spooky and bizarre—and well worth exploring.
Below are seven of the most mysteriously creepy natural wonders of the world.
1. Racetrack Playa
Location: Death Valley, California, U.S.
Racetrack Playa in California is a popular tourist destination for strange and possibly supernatural reasons. Large rocks in the middle of the flat desert appear to move over the course of an evening, leaving a trail behind them. This has lead many to name aliens as the culprits. The scientific explanation, though, states that the movement is caused by the formation of ice under the rock. I guess we’ll have to accept this as the reason for the mysterious movement: I have to think aliens have better things to do than move rocks in the desert.
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2. Madidi National Park
Madidi National Park is one of the last places on earth that remains untouched by human civilization. For this reason, many botanists and other scientists love to study the surroundings and find out more about the species that live there. The view is fantastic, but there is one giant deterrent from visiting Madidi National Park. Almost everything that naturally lives in the park is poisonous. Plants and insects alike have the ability to cripple and even kill humans, which is why many people only visit as part of a guided tour. Even still, there is no guarantee you’ll be safe from Mother Nature’s last protected sanctuary.
3. Aokigahara Forest
Aokigahara Forest is a dense, awe-inspiring forest northwest of Mount Fuji in Japan. Unfortunately, a trip into the forest may be breathtaking in more ways than one. So many suicides have taken place in this forest that it has been named “Suicide Forest.” Many unfortunate people enter the forest with the express intention to end their own life. Those who go to Aokigahara simply to hike claim to feel as though they’re “not alone” or “being watched.”
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4. Danakil Depression
The Danakil Depression is one of the most unique locations in the world. It’s home to active volcanoes, and has therefore been nicknamed the “Gateway to Hell.” As you’d expect, it’s one of the hottest places on Earth. The uniqueness of this place also makes it quite creepy: you might think you’ve stepped into a portal to another world. The strangeness of the location, which seems utterly alien, has some visitors second-guessing their own reality.
5. Gomantong Caves
Gomantong Caves are creepy, not for any supernatural or superstitious reasons, but for the reality of what’s inside. There are millions of bats and giant cockroaches living there. Species in the caves also include snakes and massive centipedes, so if you don’t like creepy/gross/likely dangerous animals like these, I’d suggest finding another place to go spelunking.
6. Dering “Screaming” Woods
Location: Pluckley, U.K.
Dering Woods is located south of Pluckley, which is notorious for being the most haunted village in Britain. There have been many tragic and unexplained deaths in Pluckley, and it appears some of the spirits have wandered into the neighboring forest. Dering Woods got the nickname Screaming Woods, because of the loud screams heard by some travelers at night.
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7. The Devil’s Kettle
Location: Minnesota, U.S.
The Devil’s Kettle is a beautiful waterfall. What makes it so strange is that no one has ever been able to locate where the water goes after it pours over the side of the rocky cliff: it simply falls into the deep pothole known as the Devil’s Kettle, and disappears underground. Scientists have some theories as to what happens to the water, but they have never been proven. Furthermore, some people have dropped items into the water, and even after thoroughly searching the area, have never located them again. Local legend tells of a car that was once pushed in by teenagers, only to vanish forever into the deep deep pothole.