20 Of The Most Mysterious (And Kind Of Creepy) Places In The World

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woman in a mysterious place

It’s virtually impossible for any of us to have seen all of the wonders that this world has to offer. There are hidden treasures everywhere to explore, after all.

There are so many places to go and things to see from the strange, to the creepy, and the utterly bizarre. 

20 Of The Most Mysterious Places In The World

1. Blood Falls, Antarctica

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Antarctica is home to one of the world’s most interesting waterfalls. Blood Falls is located in Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valley. It is five stories high, pouring out of Taylor Glacier into Lake Bonney.

The unique thing about it is the bright red liquid that looks like blood. The color is a result of the lake being trapped below 400 feet of glacier.

The water is too salty to freeze and has no oxygen in it. When streams of iron-rich water burst through fissures in the glacier, it rusts when the air hits it, causing it to leave red stains.

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2. The Crooked Forest, Poland

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The Crooked Forest in Poland is a group of around 400 trees bent in the shape of an upside-down question mark. The trees are neatly spaced apart with all of the crooks in them pointing up.

How the trees got that way is a mystery. But one theory is that they were buried under heavy snow in their infancy. Others think the odd shape is a result of gravitational pull.

The trees were planted sometime between 1925 and 1928, and some think they were bent purposely by farmers a decade later to shape them like furniture. But it seems the world will never know.

3. Gateway To Hell, Turkmenistan

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Also known as the "Door to Hell," Turkmenistan’s Gateway to Hell is a huge, fiery hole in the northern desert. It is believed to have come from a drilling accident.

The crater is 225 feet wide and 99 feet deep. Rumor has it, Soviet scientists set it on fire to burn off noxious gasses after the ground gave way. Apparently, they underestimated the endless supply of the gas reserve beneath.

4. Eternal Flame Falls, New York

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Eternal Flames Falls is found in Western New York’s Chestnut Ridge Park and is named for a cave beneath the waterfalls that continuously burns despite the splashing water.

It continues burning throughout the year except for the once in a blue moon when it goes out and is quickly relit by the next person that visits. The cave is the sight of a natural gas leak that keeps it going.

5. The Island Of Dolls, Mexico City

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The Island of Dolls is located in Mexico City’s Xochimilco district. It is a creepy place covered in decayed dolls hanging from trees.

La Isla de las Muñecas ("The Island of the Dolls") is supposedly related to the story of Don Julian Santana Barrera. Legend has it he was a local who isolated himself on the island.

During his stay, the body of a young girl washed up on the shore, accompanied by her doll. Santana Barrera hung the doll up to honor her spirit.

But he didn’t stop there. He spent 50 years dumpster diving for dolls to hang in trees. It didn’t matter whether the doll was like new, beaten and battered, had a headless body, or a lost limb.

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6. The Bermuda Triangle

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The Bermuda Triangle or the Devil’s Triangle, as many know it, is located in the North Atlantic Ocean between Miami, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda. Like the Alaska Triangle, it is known for disappearing ships and aircraft.

Some believe that the Bermuda Triangle is the gateway to an undiscovered hidden world. A more reasonable explanation for the ships disappearances is large waves taking them under, but that doesn’t account for the vanishing planes.

7. Lake Hillier, Australia

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If you happen to fly over Lake Hillier in Australia, it will look like a pool of Pepto Bismol due to the contrast with the vast Pacific Ocean nearby.

The unique pink color has mystified scientists forever. They suspect it is caused by the abundance of Dunaliella salina microalgae.

It produces carotenoids, a pigment also found in carrots with a pinkish-orange hue. Another explanation is halophilic bacteria, reacting to the sodium bicarbonate in the water.

8. Aokigahara Forest, Japan

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The Aokigahara Forest in Japan is also known as the "Suicide Forest" because hundreds of people’s bodies have been found there after they chose it as their final resting place.

It is just 100 miles west of Tokyo and has a high density of trees, earning it the moniker "Sea of Trees" as well. Two desirable tourist attractions there are the Ice Cave and the Wind Cave.

In Japanese folklore, it is believed that people choose to die here because of the ghosts and spirits that inhabit the forest. But despite its darkness and strange silence, it is a popular hiking destination.

9. Easter Island Statues, Chile

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Easter Island, Chile is just about 63.17 square miles. Its indigenous name is Rapa Nui, and it is well-known for a rare cultural phenomenon. In A.D. 300 it was settled by a society of Polynesians.

Between the 10th and 16th centuries, they built large shrines and stone figures called moai. Most have buried torsos and some are fully underground or on stone platforms called ahu that can hold up to 15 of them.

Historical accounts say that each statue represents a family that inhabited the island. They apparently competed to erect that biggest one. These sculptures captivate people all around the world.

10. Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, China

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China is home to a national park with colorful rock formations. The Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park looks like a painted mountainous landscape, full of steep red cliffs and multicolored ridges.

The array of colors is caused by layer upon layer of sandstone and minerals deposited there when the tectonic plates below shifted. The geological park is a coveted location for photographers.

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11. The Nazca Lines, Peru

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The infamous Nazca Lines in Peru is located in South America and dates back 2,000 years. The precise lines etched in the land are shaped like animals, birds, plants, and other geometric patterns.

The desert-like area is a little over 1,000 square miles but where the lines came from is a total mystery. Conspiracy theorists believe they were added by aliens or that they are a roadmap to hidden treasures.

12. Area 51, Nevada

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Most people have heard about the Air Force facility, Area 51, located in the dry Nevada desert. Due to its secrecy, it has been the subject of conspiracies and Hollywood writers like Stephen King.

The aircraft testing facility has been rumored to be the site of UFOs, alien research, and government experiments forever. Tourists flock there every year to see that general area but are not allowed inside the base.

13. Richat Structure, Mauritania

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In Mauritania lies a 30-mile-wide circular structure that can be seen from astronauts on the International Space Station. The Richat Structure, AKA the Eye of the Sahara, looks like a bullseye in the middle of the desert.

It was thought that a meteorite crashed in the area, but scientists now believe that a dome eroded and its many layers of flat rock became visible. The rings of the structure start with the oldest in the middle and the newly formed ones on the outer layers.

14. The Catacombs, Paris

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One of the creepiest places in the world is the Catacombs in Paris, France. It is an underground tomb with thousands of skulls arranged throughout. Strangely, it is considered a tourist attraction.

Buried twenty meters below ground, the Catacombs contain the remains of millions of Parisians. It was started in the 18th century, making the eerie site hundreds of years old.

15. The Plain of Jars, Laos

Photo: Jakub Hałun, CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

There is a plateau located in the Xieng Khouang Province of Central Laos, holding over 2,000 large ancient stone structures that look like jars. They vary in size, with some as large as 10 feet high, weighing several tons.

The Plain of Jars' origin is unknown, but archaeologists theorize that they were originally used about 2,000 years ago as urns for storing food. Of course, legend tells a different story, crediting them to an ancient giant king, Khun Cheung, who used them to brew wine in celebration of winning a war.

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16. Lake Natron, Tanzania

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Known as Petrifying Lake, Lake Natron in Tanzania is known to be red in color during certain times of the year and turns birds who happen to get too close into "stone." The water temperature is 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and its pH levels are almost as high as those of ammonia.

The caustic water will burn the eyes and the skin of animals that are not adapted to it. Because it has a lot of sodium carbonate in it, it acts as a preservative, mummifying anything that dies in its waters. Miraculously, it is a safe flamingo breeding site.

17. Fairy Circles, Namibia

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In the African country of Namibia lies the Namib Desert, with millions of circular patches of coil enclosed in rings of grass. They are named "Fairy Circles" because they appear to have been created by little fairies.

Some are as small as twelve feet, while others get as big as 114 feet. There are many theories surrounding them such as sand termites and plants competing for water in the dry environment.

18. Devil’s Bridge, Germany

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The Devil’s Bridge is found in Kromlau, Germany. It is one of the many places around the world with that name because of its supernatural connection. This particular one is stunningly beautiful and dates back to the 1860s.

It appears to be a perfect circle because of its reflection in the water below it. It is believed that only a mystical creature could have created it. But the bridge is man-made and located in Kromlau Park.

19. The Great Blue Hole, Belize

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This massive marine sea hole is found off the coast of Belize and measures over 1,000 feet across and 400 feet deep. The waters are crystal clear and there are mesmerizing marine life and coral reefs, making it an ideal destination for scuba divers.

The Great Blue Hole is the largest sea hole in the world and is in the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll near the Belize City mainland, and is part of the Great Barrier Reef Reserve System. It formed during the ice age from solid rock collapsed in, forming it.

20. Sea of Stars, Maldives

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The Sea of Stars sits off of Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives. It is part of the Indian Ocean and is home to billions of bioluminescent microorganisms called dinoflagellates.

They give off a bluish glow when they are disturbed, giving the water the appearance of a starry night or a beautiful sunset. This phenomenon usually happens in the late summer months when the movement of waves causes these phytoplankton to light up.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.