1. Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand

Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand Flickr: russellcharters / Creative Commons

Flickr: russellcharters / Creative Commons

The fascinating chrystallised calcite boulders on the shores of Moeraki formed the the ocean floor over 60 million years ago, and have since become accessible on New Zealand’s shores after millenia of erosion.


2. Spotted Lake, Canada

Spotted Lake, Canada Flickr: anthropodermic / Creative Commons

thinkstock.co.uk

If you’re into some serious WTF natural phenomena, you must see Canada’s Spotted Lake before you die. The unique mineral composition of the lake reveals brightly coloured spots when water evaporated off the surface in the summertime.


3. Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale, Turkey thinkstock.co.uk

thinkstock.co.uk

“Pamukkale” means “Cotton City”, and is world famous for its calcified cliffs and petrified waterfalls.


4. Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park, China

Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park, China Flickr: pheterson / Creative Commons

Luxiangjian4711 / Getty Images

Red sandstone erosion over the past 6 million years has created the masterpiece that is the Danxia Landforms. A combination of environmental factors including “long-term weathering, freeze-thaw peeling, and wind and water erosion” give the area its unique and breathtaking look.


5. Dorset, England

Dorset, England Flickr: marktowning

Flickr: saphirai / Creative Commons

England’s Jurassic Coast is a paleontological hotspot, with fantastic beaches to boot. The World Heritage Site has produced fossils and landforms dating back 185 million years.


6. Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland thinkstock.co.uk

thinkstock.co.uk

The whole of Iceland is a scientific marvel, and many of the country’s stunning natural phenomenon can be witnessed at the sprawling Thingvellir Park. Explore hot springs, waterfalls, and watch geysers bubble beneath the earth’s surface.


7. Darvaza Crater, Turkmenistan

Darvaza Crater, Turkmenistan en.wikipedia.org / Creative Commons

upload.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons

Popularly know at the “Door to Hell,” the origins of Turkmenistan’s molten Dravaza Crater are still unclear. The site is located in an area rich in natural gas, and was likely set fire in the 1970s, and has been burning consistently since.


8. The Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

The Amazon Rainforest, Brazil thinkstock.co.uk

thinkstock.co.uk

Exploring the incredible ecosystem of the Amazon Rainforest is a once in a lifetime experience. Biology and botany buffs will be overwhelmed by the mass of unique species the environment supports. Ecolodges like the Ariau Towers cater to visitors interested in studying the area.


9. Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado, USA

Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado, USA Flickr: skinnylawyer

Flickr: bunsky / Creative Commons

Fossil buffs mustn’t miss this massive reserve in Colorado, which feature over 1,500 visible dino fossils, an incredible wild habitat for plants and unique animals, plus plenty of archaeological finds.


10. Lapland, Sweden

Lapland, Sweden thinkstock.co.uk

Flickr: 56761195@N00

Atmospheric and solar phenomenon abound in the north of Sweden, where you can enjoy stunning views of the Aurora Borealis in the winter and the midnight sun during summer months.


11. Galloway, Scotland

Galloway, Scotland Flickr: jono566

Flickr: easylocum

Astronomers should blast off to Galloway immediately, where the open fields and lack of light pollution makes for prime stargazing conditions. You can even book up the Galloway Astro Centre if you’re not keen to camp under the stars.


12. Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA

Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA Flickr: tsaiproject / Creative Commons

Flickr: jamiedfw / Creative Commons

The stunning Badlands are as fascinating for the brain as they are for the eyes. The infamously fossil-rich area is made truly stunning by the effect of water erosion on the area’s rocky landscape.


13. Catatumbo Lightning, Venezuela

Catatumbo Lightning, Venezuela commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org

Often called the “Everlasting Storm,” the frequent lightning storms at the mouth of the Catatumbo river occur roughly 300 days out of the year. The unique light show is likely a result of the area’s unique topography and wind pressure.


14. Socotra Island, Yemen

Socotra Island, Yemen thinkstock.co.uk

thinkstock.co.uk

The secluded environment in Yemen boats an incredibly diverse botanical and zoological habitat, with many species entirely unique to the region, such as the umbrella and bottle trees pictured.


15. Stromboli, Italy

Stromboli, Italy Flickr: zsurfer

Flickr: mark_i_geo

This fiery Italian site has been actively erupting since 1932. The volcano is located along the Calabrian arc, where there are constant shifts of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates, resulting in truly spectacular eruptions.