Where in the world? Special places you've never heard of
Believed to be the largest freshwater wetland system in the world, this area is bigger than some countries and home to countless plant, animal and aquatic species, many of them endangered. There are no roads across the thousands of square miles here, because floods cover 80 percent of the land surface during the rainy season.
If you plan to travel along this narrow, single-lane road, don’t drive. The Inter-American Development Bank named it the “world's most dangerous road,” and for good reason. According to one estimate, the deaths from fatal accidents on this 43-mile road number 200 to 300 every year.
Located atop a cliff that rises hundreds of feet above the crashing sea below, the four concentric stone walls of this prehistoric fortress offer visitors a spectacular view. Archaeologists have many theories about the origin of this ancient structure, but no one knows for sure when it was built or who built it.
Built during the Neolithic Age more than 5,500 years ago, this fertility temple complex is older than the Pyramids of Egypt and older than Stonehenge, which makes it the world’s most ancient free-standing, man-made structure. Constructed from limestone blocks weighing up to 60 tons each and decorated with delicate geometric designs, hand-carved by ancient artists using crude tools, the temple was built in a single night by a female giant, according to local legend.
The world’s highest waterfall, and one of the most beautiful, plunges more than 3,200 feet down a sheer cliff deep in a remote jungle. Although the waterfall is located in a Spanish-speaking country, it is named for the American aviator who flew over it in 1933.
This is the highest peak in a range of tabletop mountains that are among the oldest geological formations on Earth. First described by the explorer Sir Walter Raleigh in 1596, its sheer cliffs rise more than 1,300 feet to a flat summit that covers nearly 12 square miles, and it stands today where the borders of three nations intersect.
Destruction and creation are sometimes two sides of the same natural phenomenon. This spectacular sandstone formation on the border between Utah and Arizona is a case in point. It was created by wind and rain erosion over millions of years.
The cave paintings of Lascaux in France are more famous, but many experts consider the paintings at this site the most beautiful ever discovered. The ancient artists used charcoal and natural pigments to create colorful images of horses, goats, bison and other animals on the walls and ceiling of this cave. They also used the
These mysterious ancient geoglyphs—gigantic designs of plants, animals and geometric shapes, carved out of the barren ground and covering nearly 400 square miles—can be fully seen and appreciated only from the air. Yet they were created by people who lived roughly 2,000 years ago, long before the age of human flight.
Pretty in pink
At its most vivid, the water in this unusual lake is the color of a strawberry milkshake or Pepto-Bismol. The stunning pink color is caused by Dunaliella salina algae, which produce the red pigment to absorb more sunlight. The lake also has a very high salt content; in the dry season it is even saltier than the famous Dead Sea in Israel.