Some of the most amazing places on earth you may not have heard about, like the Danxia Rainbow Mountains, The Fly Ranch Geyser, Pamukkale’s Hot Springs, The Decorated Mud Houses of Tiébélé, Burkina Faso, The Giant Pink Milkshake looking Lake Retba, The Maori Carvings of Lake Taupo, The Plastic Bottle Houses in Nigeria, The Kamchatka Peninsula Ice Cave, The Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, The Garden of The Gods, The Frozen Air Bubbles in Abraham Lake, The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia, etc …
Danxia Landform (or Rainbow Mountains) , China
Painting? .. No real!
This is a unique geological phenomenon known as Danxia landform or Rainbow Mountains. The colourful rock formations at the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu Province.
These phenomena can be observed in several places in China.
This example is located in Zhangye, Province of Gansu.
The color is the result of an accumulation for millions of years of red sandstone and other rocks. Zhangye, Province of Gansu area is located around 39° 6’37.23″N 100°39’19.81″E
And he Danxia landform is about 2800km SE of there at 25° 1’0.00″N 113°45’0.00″E
Colorful Danxia landform in Zhangye, Gansu – Culture China
Travel all the world – Danxia landform, more pictures
Danxia Landform of China. whc.unesco.org.
China danxia landform proclaimed world heritage
Colourful rock formations in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park” (collection of photos)
Rainbow Mountains China – Pictures
Danxia Geomorphology (PDF).
Zhang, Hayakawa, Wen, Yuichi. “DEM and GIS based Morphometric and Topographic Profile Analyses of Danxia Landforms (PDF).
Fly Ranch Geyser, Nevada
Fly Geyser, also known as Fly Ranch Geyser is a small geothermal geyser that is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) north of Gerlach, in Washoe County, Nevada. The Geyser is located in Hualapai Flat, about 1/3 of a mile from State Route 34. It is large enough to be seen from the road.
Fly Geyser is located on the private Fly Ranch and is accessible only by a small private dirt road. The ranch is currently owned by Todd Jaksick. There is a high fence and a locked gate with several metal spokes on the top to keep trespassers out, but despite the booby traps, many people still prefer to jump the fence to get a better look. Several organizations have tried to purchase the land for conservation, and make it open to the public, but have been denied.
Fly Geyser is a very little known tourist attraction, even to Nevada residents. It is located right near the edge of Fly Reservoir and is only about 5 feet (1.5 m) high, (12 feet (3.7 m) if you count the mound on which it sits). The Geyser is not an entirely natural phenomenon, and was accidentally created in 1916 during the drilling of a well. The well functioned normally for several decades, but then in the 1960s geothermally heated water found a weak spot in the wall and began escaping to the surface. Dissolved minerals started rising and piling up, creating the mount on which the geyser sits, which is still growing to date. Today, water is constantly squirting out reaching 5 feet (1.5 m) in the air. The geyser contains several terraces discharging water into 30 to 40 pools over an area of 30 hectares (74 acres). The geyser is made up of a series of different minerals, which gives it its magnificent coloration.
There are two additional geysers in the area that were created in a similar way as Fly Geyser. The first geyser is approximately 3 feet high and is shaped like a miniature volcano. The second geyser is cone shaped and is of the same approximate size as Fly Geyser. Like Fly Geyser, these geysers are continually growing.
Pamukkale Hot Springs, Turkey
Pamukkale meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey’s Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year.
The ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white “castle” which is in total about 2,700 metres (8,860 ft) long, 600 m (1,970 ft) wide and 160 m (525 ft) high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 km away.
Tourism is and has been a major industry. People have bathed in its pools for thousands of years. As recently as the mid-20th century, hotels were built over the ruins of Hierapolis, causing considerable damage. An approach road was built from the valley over the terraces, and motor bikes were allowed to go up and down the slopes. When the area was declared a World Heritage Site, the hotels were demolished and the road removed and replaced with artificial pools. Wearing shoes in the water is prohibited to protect the deposits.
Decorated Mud Houses of Tiébélé, Burkina Faso
In the south of Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in west Africa, near the border with Ghana lies a small, circular village of about 1.2 hectares, called Tiébélé. This is home of the Kassena people, one of the oldest ethnic groups that had settled in the territory of Burkina Faso in the 15th century. Tiébélé is known for their amazing traditional Gourounsi architecture and elaborately decorated walls of their homes.
Burkina Faso is a poor country, even by West African standards, and possibly the poorest in the world. But they are culturally rich, and decorating the walls of their buildings is an important part of their cultural legacy in this area of the country. Wall decorating is always a community project done by the women and it’s a very ancient practice that dates from the sixteenth century AD.
Every building is a canvas in Tiebele, Burkina Faso , see how they did it:
Lake Retba (Looks Like a Giant Strawberry Milkshake)
Lake Retba or Lac Rose lies north of the Cap Vert peninsula of Senegal, north east of Dakar. Depending on the time of day, the lake changes colour from a light purple to a deep scarlet pink. The unusual colouring of the water is caused by harmless halophilic bacteria that thrive in the lake’s high-salinity environment. The color is particularlyvisible during the dry season.
“The strawberry colour is produced by salt-loving organism Dunaliella salina. They produce a red pigment that absorbs and uses the energy of sunlight to create more energy, turning the water pink,” said Michael Danson, an expert in bacteria from Britain’s Bath University.
Covering an area of about 3 sq km, the lake is located about 35km north-east of Senegal’s capital Dakar. Since the 1970s, local residents have been mining Lake Retba for its salt, which they use mainly to preserve fish. Waist-deep in water, the men scrape the bottom of the lake to harvest this universally useful mineral which they collect in baskets in their wooden canoes. The salt is then taken back to shore where it is sectioned into small mounds. Dotted along the lake’s shore, these pristine white hills of salt create an arresting contrast against the pink of the lake. In order to protect their skin from the extreme salinity of the water, the workers rub their skin with shea butter, produced from shea nuts obtained from the Shea nut tree.
Maori Rock Carvings Lake Taupo
The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay on Lake Taupo are over 10 metres high and are only accessible by boat or kayaks. The spiritual and cultural beauty of these magnificent carvings towers above the deep waters of the Great Lake.
In the late 1970s master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell came to his mother’s land at Lake Taupo. On a boat trip around the Western Bays he saw the cliffs at Mine Bay and decided to use them as a canvas for his work.
Matahi decided to carve a likeness of Ngatoroirangi, a visionary Maori navigator who guided the Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa tribes to the Taupō area over a thousand years ago. In recognition of the multi-cultural nature of New Zealand, Matahi also carved two smaller figures of Celtic design, which depict the south wind and a mermaid.
The Ngatoroirangi carving took four summers to complete and the carvers took no payment other than donations to cover the cost of the scaffolding. The artwork is Matahi’s gift to Taupo.
The carving has become an important cultural attraction for the region and a clear demonstration that traditional Maori knowledge and skills continue to be passed from generation to generation.
The Mine Bay rock carvings can only be reached by boat and are best viewed up close from a kayak.
The NGO Plastic Bottle Houses in Nigeria
NGO based in Nigeria, made a Africa’s first plastic bottle house,it is bullet and fireproof, earthquake resistant, and maintains a comfortable interior temperature of 64F (18C) all year round.
14,000 PLASTIC BOTTLES = 1 HOUSE
In Nigeria, a country with around 160 million inhabitants, three million plastic bottles are daily thrown out. Turning the situation around a group of activists came up with a plan to build a house using plastic bottles addressing both the enormous housing shortage in Africa’s most populous nation and the serious waste and energy problems in the region.
According to Nigeria’s Federal Mortgage Bank, the country lacks around 16 million housing units that require $300 billion to meet. Plastic houses are cheap to construct and cost a quarter of the money required to build a conventional house. Furthermore plastic bottles which are normally thrown out in the area take hundreds of years to bio-degrade creating enormous problems with pollution. This project is confronting these problems in an innovative and creative way.
The plastic bottle housing project was initiated by the Kaduna-based NGO Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE), with help from foreign experts from Africa Community Trust, a London-based NGO. The two-bedroom bungalow is 58-square meters big, looks like an ordinary home but is anything but ordinary.
The bungalow is made from capped, sand-filled plastic bottles, each weighing three kilos. The bottles are stacked into layers and bonded together by mud and cement, with a complex network of strings holding each bottle by its neck, providing extra support to the structure. The people behind the project claim the sand-filled bottles are stronger than ordinary cinder blocks.
Yahaya Ahmad, the project coordinator, said to Physorg.com: “The structure has the added advantage of being fire proof, bullet proof and earthquake resistant, with the interior maintaining a constant temperature of 18°C, which is good for tropical climate.”
Furthermore the bungalow is designed to be carbon-neutral and will be powered only by solar panels and methane gas from recycled human and animal waste.
When finished, the house construction that started in June will be used to train others in building such bungalows. Furthermore a second plastic bottle project is due to begin in January at a primary school in Suleja near Nigeria’s capital Abuja.
Twenty-five houses are being built in the village of Yelwa. The bottles, packed with sand, are placed on their side, one on top of the other and bound together with mud.
“Compacted sand inside a bottle is nearly 20 times stronger than bricks,” said Yahaya Ahmed of Nigeria’s Development Association for Renewable Energies. “We are even intending to build a three-storey building.”
Each house – with one bedroom, living room, bathroom, toilet and kitchen – uses an estimated 7,800 plastic bottles.
“The structure has the added advantage of being fire proof, bullet proof and earthquake resistant, with the interior maintaining a constant temperature of 18 degrees C (64 degrees F) which is good for tropical climate,” Ahmad said.
The project was initiated by the Kaduna-based NGO Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE), with help from foreign experts from Africa Community Trust, a London-based NGO. http://en.twwtn.com/Bignews/?ID=34026
Kamchatka Peninsula ice cave, Russia
This surreal-looking ice cave is located on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. The almost kilometer long tunnel was formed by a hot water spring flowing beneath the glacial ice fields on the flanks of the nearby Mutnovsky volcano. Because glaciers on Kamchatka volcanoes have been melting in recent years, the roof of this cave is now so thin that sunlight penetrates through it, eerily illuminatingthe icy structures within.
The Kamchatka Peninsula, in the far east of Russia, is a region of exceptional natural beauty with its large symmetrical volcanoes, lakes, wild rivers and spectacular coastline. The peninsula has only been recently explored due to it remaining off-limits to foreigners until the 1990s. The modest human exploitation has kept the peninsula and its flora in largely pristine condition.
The Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, India
Roopkund (sometimes called Skeleton Lake or Mystery Lake) is a glacial lake in Uttarakhand state of India famous due to more than five hundred human skeletons found at the edge of the lake. The location is uninhabited and is located in Himalaya at an altitude of about 5,029 metres (16,499 feet).
The human skeletons were rediscovered in 1942 by a Nanda Devi game reserve ranger H K Madhwal, although there are reports about these bones from the late 19th century. Earlier it was believed by specialists that the people died from an epidemic, landslide or blizzard. The carbon dating from samples collected in the 1960s vaguely indicated that the people were from the 12th century to the 15th century.
The Nanda Devi Jat Yatra is held once in every 12 years in the District of Chamoli, Uttaranchal. During this two week long Yatra, thousands of devout pilgrims throng the region of Kumaon to pay respect to goddess Nanda Devi. The royal family of Garhwal conducts the Nanda Raj Jaat to please the Isht-Devi, in order to seek blessings for a prosperous kingdom and the defeat of their enemies. In Chamoli Nanda Devi Rajjaat is organized once in 12 years.
The jaat starts from Nauti village near Karnprayag and goes upto the heights of Roopkund and Haemkund with a four horned sheep. After the havan-yagna is over, the sheep is freed with decorated ornaments, food and clothings and the other offerings are dischared. Special prayers and rituals are performed and the offerings are loaded on the four- horned Ram just like the things given to a daughter in her marriage are sent. The sheep is decorated like a bride, ready to leave for her husband’s home. The scene becomes pathetic when the devotees, in tears, bid farewell to the Devi, as if they are bidding farewell to their own daughter.
Legends has it that Nanda Devi, consort of Lord Shiva left her village and went to the nanda devi parbat. Therefore when the yatra starts, heavy rain occurs as if the devi is crying. This yatra covers many villages and in between the Devi meets her sister in the Bhagwati village. The Raj Jat Yatra is held annually, in Garhwal.
The Raj Jat Yatra is held once every twelve years. This is a study of the once-in-12-year pilgrimage, shot over two months in the monsoon of 2000, following the thousands of pilgrims and thefour-horned goat which leads the procession, from the lower hills to the18, 000 foot high Roopkund Lake (where hundreds of skeletons lie in the still icy water, untraced but several hundred years old. One story has it that these are the remains of General Zorawar Singh’s army, after they were hit by an avalanche) and the mountains around the outer ring of the Nanda Devi sanctuary. Shot under dangerous monsoon conditions, this is rare footage. Acquired on Digi Beta. Some 15 hours of Digi Beta and 2 hours of Mini DV footage.
This footage is part of the professionally-shot broadcast stock footage archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., the largest collection of imagery from South Asia. The Wilderness Films India collection comprises of thousands of hours of high quality broadcast imagery, mostly shot on HDCAM 1080i High Definition, HDV and XDCAM. Write to us for licensing this footage on a broadcast format, for use in your production! We are happy to be commissioned to film for you or else provide you with broadcast crewing and production solutions across South Asia. We pride ourselves in bringing the best of India and South Asia to the world…
Reach them at wfi @ vsnl.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Garden Of The Gods
Nearest city: Colorado Springs, Colorado
The outstanding geologic features of the park are the ancient sedimentary beds of red, blue, purple, and white sandstones, conglomerates and limestone that were deposited horizontally, but have now been tilted vertically and faulted by the immense mountain building forces caused by the uplift of the Pikes Peak massif. Evidence of past ages; ancient seas, eroded remains of ancestral mountain ranges, alluvial fans, sandy beaches and great sand dune fields can be read in the rocks. A spectacular shear fault can be observed where the Tower of Babel (Lyons Sandstone) contacts the Fountain Formation. There are many fossils to be seen: marine forms, plant fossils, and some dinosaur fossils.
The hogbacks, so named because they resemble the backs and spines of a pig, are ridges of sandstone whose layers are tilted. Instead of lying horizontally, some layers are even vertically oriented. Each hogback can range up to several hundred feet long, and the tallest (called North Gateway Rock) rises to a height of 320 feet (98 m) tall. A notable rock feature on this hogback, the Kissing Camels, appears to be two very large camels sitting face to face with their lips touching.
One of the most popular features in the park is a large balancing rock, known locally as Balanced Rock.
On one occasion during the nineteenth century, Dr. George Frederick Kunz, vice-president of and “gem expert” of Tiffany & Co., wrote about a “specimen of obsidian” he was shown from the Garden of the Gods in Colorado. “A friend recently made a trip through parts of Colorado, and knowing our desire to obtain materials suitable for cutting into gems, he purchased at a pavilion, near the gateway of the Garden of the Gods, a specimen of what the dealer called “obsidian.” It was carefully packed and carried thousands of miles, and was handed to us with the ceremony befitting an elegant gift. We received it with much delight, and after removing yards of tissue paper, held it before a lamp light, and saw a transparent mass of about 4×4″ of pure bottle green- glass.”
Frozen Air Bubbles in Abraham Lake
Abraham Lake is an artificial lake on North Saskatchewan River in western Alberta, Canada. The lake was created in 1972, with the construction of the Bighorn Dam, and named after Silas Abraham, an inhabitant of the Saskatchewan River valley in the nineteenth century.
Abraham Lake is home to a rare phenomenon where bubbles get frozen right underneath its surface. They’re often referred to as ice bubbles or frozen bubbles. This has made the lake famous among photographers.
Photographer Fikret Onal explains the phenomenon: “The plants on the lake bed release methane gas and methane gets frozen once coming close enough to much colder lake surface and they keep stacking up below once the weather gets colder and colder during [the] winter season.”