There are places in the world that are so incredible it’s hard to believe they really exist. Some of these are so enchanting they seem like they could only exist in fairytale books and fantasies, while others are bizarre, exotic, and even horrifying. As otherworldly as the places on this list may seem, they all have one thing in common—they are 100% real.
This article will show you that mystical and magical places exist in real life, and you can see them with your own eyes!
This magical place is found in Kleven, Ukraine. It is a 1.8-mile-long tunnel of luscious green leaves that looks like something straight out of a dream or a movie. This tunnel is actually a passageway for a private train that delivers wood to a local factory three times a day (so be careful when taking your Instagram photos!). The tunnel was made many years ago, and the regular passage of the train has shaped and molded the tree lines at the edges. This natural architecture shows how beautiful it can be when mother nature is allowed to grow freely on and around a man-made structure.
The Tunnel of Love is one of Ukraine’s most popular tourist destinations. It is believed to have a magical influence, especially on lovers. It is said that if lovers are true to their feelings, the Tunnel of Love can grant their wishes making it a favorite spot for wedding photography.
9. The Black Forest (Germany)
Located in the suburbs of Western Germany in Baden-Wurttemberg—a town famous for its high-precision cuckoo clocks and its beautiful scenery—the Black Forest looks as though it was taken from a fairytale. Tourists from all over the world flock here yearly to see the beauty and mystery that abounds in this wooded mountain range where the Danube river originates.
Tourism is the main industry in the Black Forest. Aside from its towns and monuments, this area also is famous for its numerous long-distance footpaths, including some of the first to be established. These paths are maintained by a volunteer organization known as Schwarzwaldverein (Black Forest Society) with more than 90,000 members.
8. Tianzi Mountain (China)
“People who have climbed Tianzi Mountain will not climb any other mountains.” This is a comment often heard from people who have reached the peak of Tianzi Mountain, which is located in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area in Hunan Province. This magical and magnificent spot offers a panoramic view of the entire Wulingyuan area.
At the peak of Tianzi Mountain, visitors can see stunning views of the YuBi (imperial brushes) rising one after another. Such scenery is natural and primeval, with no artificial touches whatsoever. It is believed that these peaks are made of neptunic rocks that formed in the ocean 380,000,000 years ago.
The Tianzi Mountains can be visited year-round, and the peaks offer spectacular and incomparable views no matter the season. It is accessible by cable car, and the ride takes little more than six minutes. Though waiting for the cable car can be irritating, with people complaining about loud noises and long queues, I’d say the trouble is all worth it!
The name Tianzi originated from a local farmer Xiang Dakun who led the farmers’ revolt and called himself Tianzi, which means Son of Heaven.
Note: The peak is 1,262 meters above sea level, so acrophobes beware!
7. The Door to Hell (Turkmenistan)
The Door to Hell is situated in Derweze, a village in Turkmenistan located in the middle of the Karakum Desert. Derweze’s 350 inhabitants are semi-nomadic and were disbanded by the President of Turkmenistan in 2004 after he stated that they were an ‘unpleasant sight’ to tourists.
Derweze is rich in natural gas, and the Door to Hell gas crater was a product of miscalculation. In 1971, Soviet geologists made a mistake when they accidentally tapped a cavern filled with natural gas while drilling. The ground collapsed, leaving a large hole 70 meters in diameter. As a safety precaution, geologists decided to burn off the gas and thereby prevent poisonous gas discharge. Much to their surprise, the fuel that they hoped to burn in one day is still burning today, earning it the name “The Door to Hell.” This site has been burning for more than 40 years now and attracts thousands of brave visitors annually.
6. Trees Cocooned in Spider Webs (Pakistan)
Heavy monsoon rains flooded 1/5 of the total land area of Pakistan in 2010. As a result, millions of spiders sought refuge in the trees, especially those that lined the farms and rivers in the village of Sindh. Because the water was slow to recede, these arachnids established their homes in the trees and managed to completely enrobe them with their silky webs in the process. The people of Sindh admitted that this was their first time witnessing such a phenomenon.
When photos of this strange occurrence first began circulating on the net, millions of people did not believe it to be true. But National Geographic has since proven that such pictures and such phenomena actually exist. In fact, if you go under any of these trees, hundreds of tiny spiders will fall on your head. As unpleasant as that sounds, these arachnids have proven their worth by trapping mosquitoes in their webs and eating them before they can pester the citizens living near the stagnant waters.
5. Fly Geyser (USA)
Fly Geyser is a small geothermal geyser located in Washoe County, Nevada. It is 12 feet tall if you include the continuously growing mount on which it sits. It is privately owned by Todd Jaksick, the owner of Fly Ranch, meaning that visiting without permission is considered trespassing. You have been warned!
Fly Geyser is not an entirely natural phenomenon. Just like the Door to Hell in Derweze, Fly Geyser is the product of a human mistake. It was accidentally created in 1964 by a company in search of a geothermal source of energy. Some say that the well may not have been properly capped or that it was simply left unplugged. Either way, the end result was a continuous accumulation of minerals creating the ever-growing travertine mound.
A five-foot jet of water is constantly expelled from Fly Geyser into several terraces that discharge water directly to 30-40 travertine pools over an area of 30 hectares. The brilliant color of the mound is due to the presence of thermophilic bacteria, although several concentrated minerals are also present.
4. Mount Roraima (South America)
Mount Roraima is the highest of the Pakaraima chain of Tepui Plateaus in South America and is known to be one of the oldest geological formations on Earth, dating back to the Precambrian period. It marks the place where the borders of Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana meet. The flora and fauna on this tabletop mountain are endemic to the area, and it rains almost every day.
Some people regard Mount Roraima as a sacred mountain, but even those who don’t still consider it magical and mysterious, especially with the near-constant presence of clouds just below the tabletop. It is also home to numerous limpid pools and bizarre rock formations, enhancing its otherworldliness.
3. The Enchanted River (Philippines)
The Hinatuan River, popularly known as the Enchanted River, is currently one of the cleanest in the Philippines. The natural bluish pool is 50-80 meters deep and flows directly to the Pacific ocean. The deepest part is said to have strong sea currents connected to a trench, which is why the water there is salty. A lot of people say photos of this place are photoshopped, but such is the essence of the Enchanted River; it is clear to the point of being unbelievable.
The Enchanted River was so named because of the consistent local belief that it is a dwelling place for ethereal beings such as fairies and elves. Fishermen swear that though they see an abundance of fish in the waters, they have never been able to catch any, no matter what method they use—net, spear, or hand. They also say that fishing nets laid out at night can be found hanging on nearby tree branches in the morning. Apparently, a foreigner once tried to measure the depth of the visible riverbed and was astonished to find that it was unfathomable. Others reported seeing two long-haired females with alabaster skin swimming in the waters and vanishing into swirls of fireflies. Lastly, boatmen have reported seeing boulders in the water one day just to find them gone the next. As you can see, the Enchanted River is surrounded by mystery.
Every day at noon, swimmers and visitors alike are requested to leave the water for one hour so that caretakers can feed the fish. The Hinatuan hymn is played, and, as if on cue, groups of different kinds of fish come out of nowhere to feed on food scraps from the caretakers. The water is so deep that caretakers require unskilled swimmers to wear life jackets.
2. The Glowing Shores of Vaadhoo (Maldives)
The beaches of Vaadhoo in the Maldives resemble a sea of stars at night due to the spectacular bluish-white glow sparkling along their shores. This shimmering seems to mirror the star-studded sky at night, and one would definitely be lost in enchantment and magic upon seeing this phenomenon. These mesmerizing shimmers come from the luminescent plankton found in the waters near shore.
This phytoplankton species is especially known for its bioluminescence. The primary species that lines the Maldivian shore is the dinoflagellates. Such species’ cell membranes react to electrical signals (such as the sea current) that make them glow.
1. Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye (Scotland)
Glen Brittle is a large glen on Scotland’s Isle of Skye. It is surrounded by the highest mountains on Skye, known as the Cuillin. Many tributaries (streams that flow directly to the main stem river or lakes) flow down from these mountains into the glen, including the spectacular stream and waterfalls known as the Fairy Pools. There is also a sandy beach at the southernmost point of the glen that is very popular among tourists, hikers, and bikers.
There is a campsite near the beach where visitors can spend the night. It is considered one of the finest campsites in the country. Different species of animals abound in the area and are often seen freely roaming the valley and forests.
With its view of the Cuillin mountains—jaw-dropping in their natural majesty—Glen Brittle is truly a must-see destination!