Amazing Natural Places in the World
Feast your eyes and your imagination on this collection of the Amazing Natural Places in the World.
1. Superlative spots
Across the roughly 60 million square miles of land covering this breathtaking planet, there are a lot of exceedingly beautiful places. From serene and stirring to surreal and sublime, trying to list them all would be an impossible task; and of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But that doesn t mean we can t do our best to give a shout out to some of the places that showcase the amazing accomplishments that Mother Nature sometimes with an assist from her inhabitants has achieved. Here are 30 of our favorites to get the conversation started.
2. The Maldives
Like one of Mother Nature s emoticons, this lovable heart shaped island can be found in the Republic of the Maldives, a country that is spread out over 35,000 square miles in the Indian Ocean, 250 miles southwest of India. The nation is comprised of 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural atolls, each of which is made of a coral reef circling a lagoon. While the Maldives is one the world s most geographically dispersed countries, it is the smallest Asian country in both land area and population; only 200 of those islands are populated. Hello, deserted island paradise.
3. Rice terraces of Vietnam
While the terraces pictured here are located in Lao Cai province of Vietnam, equally mesmerizing scenes can be found throughout Southeast Asia where people have been doing the seemingly impossible for millennia: growing rice which requires a flat surface and a lot of water in mountainous areas. The trick? Terraced paddy fields that not only yield substantial crops of the widely consumed staple, but are also a gorgeous sight to behold. Agriculture at its best ... and most beautiful!
Located in the northern state of Karnataka in India, the ruins of Hampi represent the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, which was in power for several hundred years starting in the 14th century. The bewitching, crumbling remnants of temples, palaces, aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, military forts and municipal buildings are among the more than 500 monuments scattered amid a wild landscape of giant boulders, palm groves, banana plantations and paddy fields. The hauntingly beautiful ruins spread out over an area of nearly 10 square miles, like an offbeat amusement park paying homage to antiquities and the ghosts of empires past.
5. Salar de Uyuni
At 4,086 square miles, Salar de Uyuni in southwest Bolivia holds the record for the largest salt flats in the world. In fact, so flat are the flats that the U.S. Geological Survey found that elevation variations across the entire area were less than one meter. It is the flattest place on the planet, and it is so stunningly featureless that you can see the curvature of the Earth there. Needless to say, this provides an opportunity to create what might be considered the planet s largest mirror, a place for the sky and earth to collide in dizzying illusions. (We wonder if the moon catches glimpses of her own reflection there.)
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