You'll Never Believe All These Places Are Real

From the sand dunes of Namibia to the salt flats of South America, the world has some weird places.
A tree in the middle of noowhere.
Alien landscape © Patrick Galibert
By Marc Schwarz

They say truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, and these incredible locations are no fairy tale or digitally-created movie scenery. These extraordinary locations can be found on earth - we promise!

Above the Snow, Below the Clouds

Valery Rozov prepares for a leap off of the remote peak of Holtanna (2650m), in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. The Russian BASE-jumper also jumped from the Ulvetanna (2930m) and from Tungespissen (2277m). Read about Rozov's jump from Everest here.

Valery Rozov preparing for the jump from the Holtanna peak.
Valery Rozov in Antarctica © visualimpact.ch/Thomas Senf

Going to Gunung Mulu

Cave explorers progress downstream in Clearwater River Cave. The eighth longest cave in the world, it's found in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia. See more incredible pictures of caving here.

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia.
The giant caves of Gunung Mulu National Park © Robbie Shone

Amazing Amazon

The Amazon River stretches over 6,437km, dropping 5,170m from Nevado Mismi to the Atlantic Ocean, passing through Columbia, Peru, and Brazil. Few people have paddled it's entire length – but this guy has done most of it, and this guy has high-dived into it.

Aerial view of the Amazon river wiggeling trough the rain forest.
Amazonas river aerial view © Marcia Baptista

Beautiful Bora Bora

Regarded by many as the jewel of the South Pacific, Bora Bora's lush tropical jungle and turquoise waters have enchanted everyone who's been lucky enough to visit. Like this view? Check out Tom de Dorlodot's paragliding trip over the nearby Marquesas and Tuomotus.

Two peaks rising out of the island bora bora.
Bora Bora aerial view © Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Dry and Salty

Salar de Uyuni is part of the Altiplano of Bolivia in South America. The Altiplano is a high plateau. The plateau includes fresh and saltwater lakes as well as the salt flats pictured below.

Salar de Uyuni at sunrise.
Sunrise over Salar de Uyuni © Flickr Vision

The Sun Galapa-goes Down

The Galapagos is known for wildlife, but also provides incredible opportunities for landscapes.

Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Sunset in the Galapagos Islands © Andre Distel

Mountain Blue

Peyto Lake is a glacier-fed lake located in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The bright turquoise colour comes from glacial rock flour that flows into the lake. Even weirder? This pink lake in Australia.

The Peyto Lake is famous for its turquoise colour.
Peyto Lake in Banff National Park, Canada © Andre Distel

Moon Over Maui

Mt Haleakala is a massive shield volcano that forms more than 75 percent of the Hawaiian Island of Maui, offering incredible views of the valley isle. While temperatures on Maui's shores hover around 25 degrees Celsius, temps on the summit of Haleakala often hover around 0º. Of course, Maui's known more for it's mountainous surf than its sun-kissed summits.

The Haleakala vulcano sourounded by clouds in the morning hours.
High over Hawaii © Andre Distel

Island in the Mist

A small island poking out of the fog in near Johnstone Straight in British Columbia, Canada. Check out this kayak adventure around the area.

A little island poking out of the fog.
Found: an island in the fog © Michael Clark

Mars on Earth

Deadvlei is a white clay pan in Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia. It's surrounded 350m tall sand dunes, and the petrified trees in the picture are thought to be over 900 years old.

A tree in the middle of noowhere.
Alien landscape © Patrick Galibert

Sea of Sand

The Namib Desert stretches for more than 2,000km along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

Endless dunes in the desert.
Endless namibian desert dunes © Patrick Galibert

Red Sea

While this isn't the Red Sea you know from biblical history (that one borders Africa, this one's in it) it's easier to see why this one should be re-christened as such. The ponds near Walvis Bay are often red thanks to an algae called Dunaliella salina. Of course, the area around Walvis Bay itself is home to some red-hot speed sailing.

Salt lakes in the middle of the namib desert.
This is how salt is made © Patrick Galibert

A Monument to Nature

Monument Basin and the White Rim as seen from the Grand View Point Overlook in Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah.

Stunning scenery of the Canyonlands National Park.
Canyonlands National Park © Michael Clark
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