Thursday, April 5, 2012

Amazing Places That Are From Another Planet


If you visited these places, you would definitely be convinced that they belong to another planet. But what we fail to notice is that there are numerous places on Earth that defy our notion of the typical Earthly landscape.

Lena’s Stone Pillars

This completely alien-like place of beauty may as well be on another planet. There is only one way to get to it and that involves a first leg flight from Moscow that is so long you could actually fly the same distance in the opposite direction to reach New York. Then you have to take a boat. The entire trip takes three to four days to complete but if you are into seeing things that the majority of the world’s population will never lay eyes on outside of a photograph, then it is well worth it. With no competing airlines, you can imagine the price they charge to get you there.

From the air, Lena’s Stone Pillars, also called Lena’s stone forest, is so breathtaking as to leave you speechless. It literally looks like the rocks decided that they wanted to be trees and stood up next to the forest by the river. It is a truly amazing sight. The stone forest lines part of the bank of the River Lena, the largest river in Northern Siberia. It is considered to be a vital area for fossils and evidence of early man.

Wave Rock
Arizona, USA

The wave can only be described as a hallucination set in stone. If this is not the exact replica of some alien landscape, I will eat my hat. The lines and curves formed from 190 million of years of wind blown sand and rushing water over sandstone turned to rock will make you dizzy and you have to make a real effort not to fall flat on your face.

You actually have to play the lottery to get a ticket to see it and only twenty people are allowed to walk on its delicate surface per day. Even the photographs, which will never do the place justice, will make you dizzy if you stare at them. Being in the Wave Rocks of Arizona is like walking in a dizzy dream.

The funny part is that most Americans do not know about them or do not care. The majority of the visitors are European.

Fly Ranch Geyser
Nevada, USA

What do you get when accidentally dig a well on top of a geothermal water pocket? Fly Ranch Geyser looks like a colorful mini-mountain from a space movie because it sits in the middle of a Nevada Ranch. The ranch is dreary and colorless as you drive down route 447 until suddenly, one third of a mile off the road this weird, eerily formed rock juts from the landscape spewing water in tree directions for dozens of feet. The amazing colors from the water minerals are what get your attention because you have been driving in Nevada, which is not a very colorful trip.

The owner of the ranch is not interested in tourism and keeps a fence with a locked gate there to keep visitors from gathering. No Trespassing signs are posted but people are just as likely to jump the fence for a closer look, as not. The well was dug 1916 for irrigation purposes but sometime in the 60′s, the natural geothermal reservoir found a weak spot and 200 degree water carrying Sulphureus minerals began spewing forth, making the well a man made geyser. Now a little over five feet high and twelve feet across, it appear to be something from another planet.

The water created a marshy area with plant life and looks so out of place that you just cannot miss it from the road.

Socotra Island

Socotra is located in Muhafazat Hadramawt, Yemen, which actually sounds alien-like, is a very weird and alien looking island. Part of an archipelago or chain of islands, this one makes every effort to impress. The trees on the island look like big ugly umbrella stands or as if gravity has forgotten how to work correctly. One of the reasons it looks so alien is that a full third of its plant life cannot be found anywhere else on the entire planet.

Socotra Island Yemen 1 10 Amazing Alien Like Places on Our World That Are From Another Planet

Two oddities make this island standout. First, it is considered the most isolated landform that is not of volcanic origin on earth. The second is that it is an island surrounded by water with a climate that is classified as a desert. It is part of a three island group but the two sister islands are uninhabitable by man. Seagulls thrive on the sisters. It is almost as if three pieces of an alien planet fell from space and landed there off the horn of Africa.

To make the point more poignant, the umbrella looking trees seep blood red sap and are called, you guessed it, the dragon’s blood tree.

The Devil Postpile
California, USA

Mammoth Mountain in Madera County California is the home of Devil Postpile National Monument. Like an alien landscape, this columnar basalt cliff appears out of place from the rest of what used to be part of the Yosemite National Park lands.

This strange formation was made by a lava flow that pooled to 400 feet and slowly seeped out. Then, amazingly, a glacier slowly moved through and polished the columns. The strange, alien-like structure was almost destroyed twice. Once during blasting for gold in the 1800s and then when a hydroelectric plant was scheduled to be built there. Walter L. Huber persuaded President Taft to declare the Devil’s Postpile a National Monument in 1911 and saved it for us.

If you cannot make the trip to California, several of the Devil’s Postpile stones grace the entrance of the US Geological Survey Headquarters in Reston, Virginia.

Pamukkale Water Terraces
Denizli, Turkey

Hierapolis, Turkey is a renewed ancient city that was built from the ground up to accommodate Romans seeking the healing waters of the Cotton Castle, the name given to this weird and wonderful rock formation and ancient ruins. Looking at it, you would think you were deep in the Antarctic. So blindingly white are the rocks.

The Romans used the city and spa as a healing place. The world almost lost this rare wonder to neglect but fortunately, the cascading pools of white were restored to health by the locals. The water cascades down and forms bright white formations and pools that are only found in a couple of places on our planet, one of which has been destroyed by earthquake. Hot springs rich in calcium form and continue to feed the oyster shaped pools. It truly looks like something from another planet.

Blood Falls
McMurdo, Antarctica

McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica is one of the most isolated and harshest places in the world. Nothing can survive in this place of subzero temperatures and icy winds, or so we thought. Then we noticed the blood red liquid draining from Taylor Glacier into Lake Bonney. It is almost as if some giant wounded the glacier with a spear and it is bleeding from the wound. Upon closer examination, scientific explorers made one of the most startling discoveries of our time.

In a lifeless and alien-like place that is so harsh, nothing can survive we found primordial life. That “blood” that seeps from the wounded glacier is the stuff that life is made of. Somewhere else on our planet, millions of years ago, the very first life form crawled out of this same kind of primordial pool.

So how does the basic, building block foundation of life survive for so long in conditions so contrary to it? How could it survive in conditions so bad that we would never think to look for it? We still do not have a definite answer. What we do have is a new question. If a basic form of life can form and survive in this hostile place, could it also be present on another planet? I do not know, but i know an interesting and beautiful place when i see one.

What scientists found is startling in that there is a living microbial ecosystem in a place where there is no oxygen. These microbes have devised a way to survive through manipulation of iron and sulfur compounds. While this should be impossible, scientist are considering the possibility of the first known form of life that can “carbonize” iron. These tiny microbes are “Fixing” the carbon dioxide that iron produces. The term “Fixing” means that they can convert carbon dioxide to organic molecules to be consumed, making them the most efficient CO2 fixers on the planet. The possibilities that arise from studying this process are as far reaching as anything ever discovered before. This is especially true if we could find a way to duplicate it.

Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan
Bozdagh, Azerbaijan

From the air, the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan look like a giant witch’s cauldron, bubbling away on some cursed alien landscape. These mini-volcanoes, some as high as 650 feet above the ground, turn the coast of the Caspian Sea into a very dangerous place. A full 300 of the earth’s 700 mud volcanoes can be found here, ejecting millions of cubic meters of hydrocarbon gases into the atmosphere. They also throw mud hundreds of feet through the air. If the planet earth could fart, this is the place it would happen.

In 2001, witnesses saw flames eject more than 50 feet and the mud volcano was still belching fire three days later. Despite the danger, people of the region claim that the mud has healing properties prompting health seekers around the world to make the trek to this alien-like place to bath in the mud.

To make the off planet experience even more vivid, there is a natural rock formation right in the midst of these volcanic mud monsters that makes music. When you strike the rock, it makes sounds like a tambourine. Music and a mud bath… sounds like a spa! They should hire a masseuse and charge money!

Canõ Cristales

Deep in the jungles of Colombia runs an ordinary river with no distinguishable characteristics to call its own. In fact, you could cross this river several hundred times a year and never know it from any of the other rivers in the vast jungles near Macarena. However, if you did not know better and were to stumble upon this river during the brief period between the rainy and dry seasons, you would literally stop, your mouth hanging open in disbelief.

Your first thought would be that you were dreaming and you would pinch yourself. Realizing consciousness, your next thought would be to your sanity. If you were old enough, you would briefly worry about all the drugs you experimented with in the 60′s. Then you would look about frantically for tall blue people riding monster bird-like creatures with the absolute certainty that you stumbled upon the real Avatar tribe.

The explosion of color from the flowering moss that covers the rocks in this one place on earth is so amazing that it has earned this river names like, The Rainbow River, The River that Ran Away from Paradise, The Most Beautiful River in the World, and The River of Five Colors, which is weird because the literally hundreds of shades of each of these five colors is astonishing.

This natural phenomenon of algae does not occur anywhere else in the world in this combination and the conditions are only right for that very brief period of time when the water level is just right and the moss gets the perfect amount of sunlight. This unique, alien like place is only obtainable via horse or donkey and has only recently become a tourist attraction.

This river, including waterfalls is truly a one of a kind experience that everyone should be lucky enough to see at least once in their lifetime.

Jellyfish Lake
Eil Malk Island, Republic of Palau

Diving into the waters in Jellyfish Lake is like drifting through space with strange alien beings. The Jellyfish explosion that this lake experiences is alien-like and dangerous, not because of the stingers that these killer fish have; they are too small to be felt by humans, it is dangerous because of a layer of poisonous hydrogen sulfide 15 feet below the surface.

Off the coast of Koror in Palau, Jellyfish Lake is one of 70 saltwater lakes that were once connected with the Pacific Ocean. The lake is 12,000 years old and contains a species of Jellyfish named the Golden Jellyfish. For reasons we may not fully understand, the jellyfish migrate across the lake once every single day. There is no scuba diving allowed but snorkelers report that the beauty of this migration is unbelievable.

There is a mystery, however, attached to the jellyfish as they died completely off in the lake in 1998 with a zero population. In 2000, the mysteriously reappeared and science has no explanation.

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