Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa
A swimming pool like no other, the Sua Ocean Trench is a giant, picturesque swimming hole surrounded by lush, green vegetation. Found in the paradise-like conditions of Samoa, the water itself is 30 metres down into a crater, absolutely crystal clear and not too deep – perfect for a dip.
As well as the stunning gardens that form a perimeter around the hole, there is also a secluded beach on the western side of the land-formation and a number of little blow holes. A long ladder descends down into the pool so that you can access it safely, but be careful as this can become slippery with use. You will find this intriguing slice of perfection in the Lotofaga region of the island.
Salar de Uyuni salt flat, Bolivia
Spread out over 10,000 square km, the world’s largest salt flat is one of the most bizarre landscapes on the planet. At first, it looks like the ground is coated with a fine layer of snow, misplaced in the middle of an arid, rocky desert. The seemingly endless salt flats make depth perception hard to gauge, which makes for a great picture moment.
Little mounds of salt appear across the horizon, and occasionally you’ll see the odd structure made completely out of the mineral. One of these novel hotels will almost certainly be a part of any trip to the flats as well as an excursion to the eerie train graveyard; a collection of old, wrecked steam engines.
The contrast between the pure, white salt and the vivid blue sky is quite a sight in itself, but it’s the evening, when the stars come out, that the view is at its finest. Tours of the flats can last from one to four days, but it’s best to get an overnight stay in to make the most of it.
Pink Lake, Western Australia
The aptly named Pink Lake is probably one of the weirdest bodies of water you’re ever likely to lay eyes on for one obvious reason; you guessed it, the water is bright pink. No one really knows why it takes this vivid, bubblegum colour, but many believe it has something to do with a special bacteria that lives in the salt here.
Pink Lake, close to the small town of Esperance, is surrounded by white sand and a short distance away from the stunning Australian coastline. For the best views of this bizarre natural phenomenon, take the walk up to the Pink Lake look-out.
The Stone Forest, Madagascar
Although it might sound like a mythical land from the Game of Thrones series, the Stone Forest can be found in the real world on the stunning island of Madagascar. This remarkable landform has earned its name from the huge limestone towers that populate the land like a dense collection of trees. Tropical rain has eroded the rock to create razor-sharp formations that span an area of 230 square miles.
Standing as tall as 300 feet, these grey pinnacles are incredibly difficult to get to due to the harsh terrain surrounding them and their distance from civilisation. As a result of this, there is very little human presence in the area, which has allowed a number of different species to thrive. The most notable inhabitant of the Grand Tsingy – the official name for the area – is the lemur, which lives high up in the rocks.
The catacombs, Paris
Think Paris and your mind immediately conjures up images of the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa and the Arc de Triomphe. However, one of the city’s weirdest attractions lies deep below its streets, the catacombs. This ossuary is filled with the bones of over 6 million people, arranged into all manner of strange altars and tributes to the dead.
The eerie corridors are actually part of the old stone mines that were used to source rock and build the city. Due to overflowing cemeteries in the 1500s, the long-dead were exhumed and placed in the mines which have today become a museum as well as a monument to the deceased. This is not one for the claustrophobic or the faint of heart.