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10 Most Breathtaking Natural Wonders of the World

There are very few manmade wonders that nature has not been able to outdo over the decades, as evidenced by the following list of our favorite and most breathtaking natural wonders of the world.

Great Blue Hole, Belize

Located near the center of Lighthouse Reef about 43 miles outside of Belize City, the Great Blue Hole is one of the largest submarine sinkholes in the world at about 300 meters wide and 124 meters deep. Created thousands of years ago when the ocean levels were much lower, the Great Blue Hole remains a popular tourist spot for scuba diving today.

Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, China

Parks themselves are not uncommon. But when your park houses some of the most beautiful and colorful natural rock formations in the world, it’s bound to be a tourist attraction. Zhangye Danxia Park draws millions who come to view the smooth, tall rock formations. They carry a distinctive pattern of colors that are a result of sandstone deposits occurring in the area for more than twenty million years.

The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan

While it is not the most inviting name, The Door to Hell might have the most fitting moniker on this list. Located near the Derweze Village in the Ahal Province of Turkmenistan, The Door to Hell is a natural gas field that was discovered by the Soviet Union in the 1970s. Believing the area to be dangerous after the ground collapsed during drilling, the Soviet Union set fire to the area, hoping the gas lines would burn out in a few weeks. Instead, they’ve been burning for four decades, creating one of the eeriest natural phenomena on the planet.

Côte d'Albâtre, France

Translated to mean (literally) the Alabaster Coast, Côte d'Albâtre is a section of the English Channel running along the French coast of Pays de Caux. The name is derived from the white color of the high chalk cliffs that populate the area. It has also served as inspiration for many artists of the Impressionist era, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Camille Pissarro.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

At more than 10,000 square kilometers, the Salar de Uyuni is Bolivia’s – and the world’s – largest salt flat. Formed during prehistoric times when lake transformations caused a buildup in salt deposits, Salar de Uyuni is known for its extremely flat surface and subterranean lithium deposits. It’s also a huge tourist attraction, with visitors able to stay in hotels made completely out of salt blocks.

Marble Caves, Chile

Though the Marble Caves are probably the most visually exciting natural wonder within this area, the formations share some tourist action with the lake that surrounds them: General Carrera Lake, as it is known in Chile (Lake Buenos Aires in Argentina, which shares a side of the lake). The Marble Caves are one of the most distinctive draws though. Created through wave action over the past 6,200 years, the Caves are a series of columns, caverns, and tunnels formed by marble deposits at the center of the lake.

Pamukkale, Turkey

It’s not every day that you see a naturally-occurring hot spring. And it’s definitely not every day that you find an entire series of them. This is the appeal of the city of Pamukkale, which means “Cotton Castle” in Turkish. Located in Denizli Province in the southwestern portion of Turkey, Pamukkale carries numerous hot springs and travertine’s containing carbonate minerals that add to the effects of the hot springs. For thousands of years tourists have bathed in the pools, and since the area was recently declared a World Heritage Site, these springs are sure to be enjoyed by many future generations to come.

Eye of the Sahara, Mauritania

The only thing more interesting than a legitimate natural wonder is a natural wonder shrouded in mystery. So goes the existence of the Richat Structure, commonly known as the Eye of the Sahara. A large circular area in the Sahara Desert that is visible from space, the Eye of the Sahara is aptly named; from above, the area looks just like a giant eyeball sitting in the middle of the desert. Scientists originally thought the phenomenon was a sign of prehistoric meteor strikes. Recent studies have discarded that theory and scientists are currently studying the rock and mineral deposits in an effort to come up with another theory as to its origin.

Spotted Lake, Canada

There are certain natural wonders with names that make you have to guess what exactly the attraction is going to be. Then there are wonders like Canada’s spotted lake that tell you exactly what to expect. However, knowing what to expect doesn’t take away from the breathtaking aspect of this mineral lake in the eastern Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, Canada. The Spotted Lake is rich with a variety of minerals (i.e. calcium, sodium sulphates, magnesium sulfate, amongst others) which cause large spots of mineral deposits to develop and give the lake its distinctive feature. They also change location, size, and color depending on the season.

Dragon's Blood Trees, Socotra

Considered the most famous plant on the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean, the Dragon’s Blood tree gets its name from its dark red resin, or “dragon’s blood.” The trees have a distinctive look, with a large, wide, packed crown and thin trunk that allows for growth in the arid conditions of the area. The dragon’s blood resin has many uses within the culture as well, from dye to toothpaste to a general cure-all.