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10 Mysterious & Mystical Places Around the World

December 21, 2014

1. Easter Island, Chile

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Nicolas de Camaret / Flickr

Easter Island is located in the South Pacific more than 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile. Due to the island’s isolated geographical location, traveling there might feel daunting. The island is known for its 887 moaimonolithic human statues carved out of volcanic rock–created by the island’s aboriginal Rapa Nui. The tallest moai, Paro, is almost 10 meters (33 feet) high and weighs 82 tons.

 

2. Stonehenge, England

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thegarethwiscombe / Flickr

Located in Wiltshire, England, Stonehenge is a ring of upright stones measuring more than 6 meters (20 feet tall) and 45 tons. Archaeological evidence suggests that the monument was built incrementally, in stages. It’s popularly believed that the Celtic Druids constructed the site, but experts say Stonehenge was built a thousand years prior to the Druids. There is much speculation surrounding Stonehenge, including who had a hand in building it and just what it was built for. Stonehenge’s origin and purpose still remains largely a mystery.

3. Skeleton Lake, India

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Schwiki / Wikipedia

Lake Roopkund, also known as the Skeleton Lake, is located in northern India along the border of Nepal at an altitude of 5,000 meters (about 16,500 feet). The high altitude and consequent cold climate are instrumental in preserving the human remains underneath the lake. The lake itself is only 2 meters deep. When the snow and ice melt, the skeletons are easily visible.

 

4. Sailing Stones of Racetrack Playa – Death Valley, California

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Marc Kjerland / Flickr

It’s only recently that scientists solved the mystery behind the sailing stones in Death Valley National Park. The rocks drift slowly across the the playa with the help of ice and wind, leaving behind only serpentine tails that mark their path.

5. River Ness, Scotland

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Dave Stokes / Flickr

The River Ness in Scotland is home to the fabled Loch Ness Monster.

6. Machu Picchu, Peru

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Guillén Pérez / Flickr

It is interesting how humanity simply stumbled upon Machu Picchu, without ever knowing it actually existed. Now, as we continue to test the limits of our archaeological expertise, Macchu Picchu intrigues us even more.

Despite being at a stone’s throw from Cusco, the ruling Spaniards in the medieval times never managed to discover it. Mistakenly thought to be the Lost City of the Incas, Macchu Picchu’s mountainous location was never visible from below, only adding to the mystery of its purpose.

After it was discovered, scores of scholars have been trying to figure out the reason behind the existence of this city, but to no avail. Some proposed it to be a royal retreat, whereas others saw it as a flourishing settlement, whose abandonment was brought about by the Spanish conquest.

Whatever the truth may be, Machu Picchu as an architectural wonder, will leave you spellbound as you travel back into time to uncover its mysteries. Who knows what you may find!

7. Shiprock, New Mexico

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Anita RitenourFlickr

Anita describes it perfectly! “Shiprock rises 1700 feet from the Monument Valley floor. Its “fins” of igneous rock running north and south resemble wings. There are numerous Navajo legends about the rock they call “Tsé Bit’a’i” (the winged rock) One is that it was a phantom ship the once bore the Navajo people away from the Far North and warring neighbors, saving them from annihilation.” The Shiprock is also a famous landmark for mountain climbers who want to tackle the difficult climb even though it has been illegal since 1970.

8. Temple of Artemis, Turkey

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simonjenkins/ Flickr

The Temple of Artemis is located in present-day Turkey. What is also known as the Temple of Diana was built around 550 BCE. The temple was influenced by many different beliefs and was adopted as a symbol of faith for many peoples. The Temple was once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but was demolished in 356 BCE by a young man named Herostratus as an act of arson. (Fotolia)

 

9. Zhangye Danxia landform in Gansu, China

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Eric Pheterson / Flickr

The surreal view of the Danxia landform landscapes made up by the red-coloured sandstone makes strange patterns formed by weathering and erosion over millions of years

 

10. Northern Lights, Norway

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ianbullock68 / Flickr

The Northern Lights (scientific name: aurora borealis) is one of the natural phenomena called polar lights. The bright, dancing lights of the Northern Lights has always been a wonder and of great interest, not only for its beauty, but also the science and reasons for its existence.

Each appearance of the aurora is unique, each with different colours and patterns. They can come in many forms from rays, moving curtains all the way to eerie arcs streaked across the night sky. The colour is usually comes bright green or pale yellow are the most common colours though blue red and violet have also been spotted.

But where do the Northern Lights come from? The Northern lights are actually a result of gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere and charged particles that have been released from the sun’s atmosphere and carried over on solar winds. It is the type of gas particles which cause the variety of colours.

If you dream of seeing the Northern Lights plan ahead and leave plenty of time to travel North. They can be seen most frequently closest to the North Pole in areas such as Alaska and Greenland.

Jo-Yin Ho

Marketing Manager UK, PaperFlies. Passion for playing music, cooking and travelling.

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