Who doesn’t love a good mystery? The planet is dotted with places that are surreal, eerie and sometimes downright bizarre. And, while many of this mysterious goings-on have logical explanations, others remain stubbornly unsolved. We look at the science, stories, theories, and tales surrounding some of the world’s strangest sites.
Below are the Top 10 very mysterious places on Earth.
As synonymous with mystery as Venice is with canals, the Bermuda Triangle – covering around 500,000 square miles between Bermuda, Miami in Florida and San Juan in Puerto Rico – has seen more than 20 planes and 50 ships crash with no obvious explanation and even some “vanish” completely. Theories range from suggestions of supernatural activity to the more logical hypotheses that it’s down to magnetic compass variation or rogue waves.
Astronauts have been watching the Richat Structure – also known as the “Eye of Sahara” – in Ouadane since humans first entered space. Viewed from the International Space Station, the 30-mile (48.2km) wide swirl resembles a bull’s eye or snail’s shell. The geological quirk was believed to be a crater caused by a meteorite but it’s now thought it was once a dome that has eroded over time.
This circle of rocks has long been one of the UK’s most well-known and mysterious sites, with historians and scientists baffled as to how its builders transported the monoliths 5,000 years ago. Newcastle University students may have solved the riddle, however, when they discovered in 2019 that humans (not aliens) may have dragged the rocks in place using sleds lubricated with pig fat.
It’s nothing to do with The Bangles’ hit song, but this is an (almost) eternal flame. The bewitching orange-red
glow that flickers behind this staggering waterfall, in New York’s Chestnut Ridge Park, is kept aflame by natural methane gas that seeps through cracks in the rock.
The world’s oldest and perhaps most enigmatic continent is home to a blood-red waterfall that seeps into the ice. Geologists originally thought the red color was due to algae but the truth is actually much more interesting. The sealed, airless lake’s high iron content and salinity caused the rust-red color that eventually oozed out of a fissure in the ice.
It’s the stuff that nightmares are made of – a gaping, fiery chasm tearing a hole in the Earth.
The Darvaza gas crater or Door to Hell opened in 1971. Engineers were drilling a natural gas field in the northern Turkmenistan desert when a portion collapsed into an underground cavern.
Rakotz Bridge is so pretty it could perhaps more aptly be called “fairy-tale bridge”. But its name, which means Devil’s Bridge, comes from its supernatural associations.
The looping structure, in the German town of Kromlau, forms a perfect circle with its watery reflection – a clever trick of engineering that some see as otherworldly.
Divers and underwater explorers including French writer and explorer Jacques Cousteau have fallen under the
spell of the world’s biggest sinkhole, which measures around 1,000 feet (304m) across and plunges to 400 feet (122m) deep.
Its deepest, darkest secrets remained a mystery until late 2018, when an expedition team including Jacques’ grandson, Fabien Cousteau, and Sir Richard Branson shot video from a submarine, revealing stalactites and “unidentifiable tracks”.
Its milky turquoise waters may look inviting for a swim, but don’t jump in – this caldera, formed in the crater of
the Kawah Ijen volcano is the world’s largest acidic lake.
The electric blue flames that burst into the air are a source of fascination, though (of course) there is a scientific
explanation: high levels of sulfuric acid, which give the water its striking hue, combust when they hit the air.
Gryfino’s brilliantly bonkers Crooked Forest or Krzywy Las is filled with around 400 pine trees, each with a
near-identical bend in the base of its trunk.
Their wonky appearance has sparked many theories, including that a snowstorm or gravitational pull morphed