Planet Earth is a mysterious place that never ceases to amaze. You won’t have to look far to find some natural peculiarity for which science sometimes offer a theory. However, many places are complete enigma. Getting to these locations is often difficult; sometimes you will find that you really don’t want to be there – depending on whether you believe the rumors of ghosts and aliens. Scientists keep looking for answers and are often surprised by the obscurities they find.
Blood Falls, Antarctica
How is it that the coldest and driest place on the planet has a blood-red waterfall pouring down slowly in McMurdo Dry Valleys, some of the most extreme desert region on Earth? What causes the mysterious flow was only recently “discovered” in a study. Scientists believed for many years the red algae gave the creepy color. Iron oxide is responsible for the hue, and research shows that the feature does contain strange bacterial life as the region may have a lot of salty and extremely cold groundwater.
Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand
The Moeraki Boulders, originally formed in sea floor sediments about 60 million years ago, are large spherical “stones” scattered on Koekohe Beach near Moeraki on New Zealand’s Otago coast. They are actually concretions that have been exposed through shoreline erosion from coastal cliffs that back the beach. Each boulder weighs several tons and is up to 6 feet high.
Racetrack Playa, Death Valley, California
Located in a remote valley between the Cottonwood and Last Chance Ranges, the Racetrack is a place of spectacular beauty and mystery. The Racetrack is a playa, a dry lakebed, best known for its strange moving rocks. It looks like they “sailed” through the valley. “Although no one has actually seen the rocks move, the long meandering tracks left behind in the mud surface of the playa attest to their activity,” according to the NPS. The most logical explanation so far is that ice forms covering the stones, causing them to move.
Eternal Flame Falls, Orchard Park, New York
If you go to the waterfalls of Shale Creek in the southeast corner of Chestnut Ridge Park, you will notice a strange orange-red light behind the water and believe it to be an optical illusion. How is it that something is burning under water? You’ll actually smell the golden flame because it’s fired by methane gas escaping through the cracks. The water sometimes extinguishes the flame, but you can easily start it up again with a lighter.
Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
More than 40 years ago, a gaping, fiery crater opened up in the desert of northern Turkmenistan, most likely after a drilling mishap, according to the National Geographic. The Darvaza Crater, known as the Door to Hell, is still burning, which is an odd occurrence since the landscape is actually barren. Rumor has it that Soviet scientists set it on fire to burn off noxious gases after the ground but underestimated the amount of fuel that lay below. Turkmenistan has the sixth largest natural gas reserves in the world.