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21 Places To See Before You Die

boredpanda.com - 28 Nov 2011

1. Antelope Canyon, USA

Bamboos for: James Marvin Phelps , Rob Inh00d

Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. It is located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Lower Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon is Hazdistazí, or “spiral rock arches.”

Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes. Rainwater, especially during monsoon season, runs into the extensive basin above the slot canyon sections, picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways. Over time the passageways are eroded away, making the corridors deeper and smoothing hard edges in such a way as to form characteristic ‘flowing’ shapes in the rock.[1]

2. The Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Bamboos for: Jo@net , Goianobe , CX15

The Phi Phi Islands are located in Thailand, between the large island of Phuket and the western Andaman Sea coast of the mainland. [13] Classic beaches, stunning rock formations, and vivid turquoise waters teeming with colourful marine life – it’s paradise perfected. [14]

3. Santorini, Greece

Bamboos for: MarcelGermain , Maggie & David

Santorini is perhaps the most fascinating and most talked about island of Greece in the Aegean. Only the name of the island is enough to unfold in mind pleasurable connotations, volcanic landscape, gray and red beaches, dazzling white houses, terraces with panoramic sea views , stunning sunsets, wild fun. All this, together with remnants of lost civilizations discovered in the volcanic ash justify the epithets with which visitors identify Santorini and fairly is called, magical, indescribable, astonishing. [3]

4. Maldive Islands

Bamboos for: iujaz , aquabumps

The Maldives lies in two rows of atolls in the Indian Ocean, just across the equator. The country is made up of 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural ring-like atolls, spread over 90,000 square kilometers. These atolls structures are formed upon a sharp ridge rising from the ocean, making way for their secluded uniqueness.

Maldives has deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy beaches and palm trees. It is also a place full of character, where its people have long spent their days languishing in the very essence of idyll living. While it is the perfect place to sit on a beach and watch a sunset with a cocktail balanced on your hand, it is also a geographical marvel, knowing that there are thousands of fish swimming around the vivid corals just a few feet away from where you sit. [4]

5. Machu Picchu, Peru

Bamboos for: Tati@ , szeke , magnusvk

Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna. [5]

The Incas started building the “estate” around AD 1400, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. [6]

6. The Great Wall of China

Bamboos for: Francisco Diez , topgold

The Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500 miles) from east to west of China. With a history of more than 2000 years, some of the sections are now in ruins or have disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions all around the world owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance. [7]

7. Iceland

Bamboos for: shchukin , Stuck in Customs

Fire and Ice offers a stunning portrait of this island of extremes, where some of Europe’s biggest glaciers cozy up to some of the continent’s hottest volcanic springs. [8] Every season has its own unique charm and there are always opportunities to experience new things, discover beauty and be mesmerized by the freshness and colours of nature. [9]

8. Bora Bora Island

Bamboos for: kenyai , jsmoral , Pierre Lesage

Bora Bora emerged from the waters 3 millions years ago. Like all the other Polynesian islands, this volcanic island slowly sinking in the ocean. It currently presents particular geological characteristics ranging in between a high island and an atoll status. Island has unforgettable turquoise lagoon – where a multi-color aquatic fauna (sting & manta rays, sharks, tropical fishes) can be observed by outrigger canoe, boat or diving explorations. The coral reef includes a string of islets and gorgeous white sand beaches surrounding the main island. [10]

9. The Wave, Arizona, USA

Bamboos for: Alaskan Dude , DIVA007

The Wave is a sandstone rock formation located in the United States of America near the Arizona and Utah border on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, on the Colorado Plateau. Nearly 200 million years ago, this region was a sandy desert where huge dunes migrated across the landscape pushed by seasonal winds. Prevailing winds of that ancient Jurassic time can be determined by examining the cross-bedding (layers) in the sandstone. What we see today are some of the original crossbedded dunes shaped into dramatic landforms and exposed by erosion from eons of runoff. The spectacular ribbons of various colors called Liesegang Bands, were formed by movement and precipitation of oxidizing materials such as iron and manganese by ground water[1]. Thin veins or fins of calcite cut across the sandstone, adding another dimension to the landscape. [11]

10. Petra, Jordan

Bamboos for: ralwic , rwoan

Petra, the world wonder, is without a doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome. [12]

11. The Cave of Crystals, Naica Mine, Mexico

Bamboos for: ourfunnyplanet , nicole_denise

The Naica Mine of the Mexican state of Chihuahua is a working mine that is best known for its extraordinary selenite crystals. The Cave of Crystals (Cueva de los Cristales) is a cave approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) below the surface in the limestone host rock of the mine. The chamber contains giant selenite crystals, some of the largest natural crystals ever found.T he selenite crystals were formed by hydrothermal fluids emanating from the magma chambers below. [2]

12. Moraine Lake, Canada

Bamboos for: A tea but no e , T.P Photographie

Moraine Lake is a glacially-fed lake in Banff National Park, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) outside the Village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. The lake does not reach its crest until mid to late June. When it is full, it reflects a distinct shade of blue. The color is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis. [15]

13. Grand Canyon, USA

Bamboos for: carbonboy , paigeh

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. A powerful and inspiring landscape, the Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size; 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. [16] Nearly two billion years of the Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. [17]

14. Berry Head Arch, Canada

Bamboos for: Rexton

This magnificent sea arch is located on the Spurwink Trail, along the East Coast Trail. To get to the arch, find the East Coast Trail trailhead at Port Kirwan. From here, it is about a 4.75-mile one way hike to the arch. The hike is moderate but extreme caution is required at points where the trail skirts the edge of some rather high cliffs.[18]

15. Monument Valley, USA

Bamboos for: Wolfgang Staudt

Monument Valley (Navajo: Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii, meaning valley of the rocks) is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft (300 m) above the valley floor.[19] Monument Valley provides perhaps the most enduring and definitive images of the American West. The isolated red mesas and buttes surrounded by empty, sandy desert have been filmed and photographed countless times over the years for movies, adverts and holiday brochures. Because of this, the area may seem quite familiar, even on a first visit, but it is soon evident that the natural colors really are as bright and deep as those in all the pictures. The valley is not a valley in the conventional sense, but rather a wide flat, sometimes desolate landscape, interrupted by the crumbling formations rising hundreds of feet into the air, the last remnants of the sandstone layers that once covered the entire region. [20]

16. Plitvice, Croatia

Bamboos for: korom , mpancha

The stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park lies in the Lika region of Croatia. The park is surrounded by the mountains Plješevica, Mala Kapela, and Medveđak, which are part of the Dinaric Alps. The 16 blue-green Plitvice Lakes, which are separated by natural dams of travertine, are situated on the Plitvice plateau. [21] The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight. [22]

17. Preikestolen, Norway

Bamboos for: Today is a good day

Preikestolen or Prekestolen, also known by the English translations of Preacher’s Pulpit or Pulpit Rock, and by the old local name Hyvlatonnå (“the carpenter-plane’s blade”), is a massive cliff 604 metres (1982 feet) above Lysefjorden, opposite the Kjerag plateau, in Forsand, Ryfylke, Norway. The top of the cliff is approximately 25 by 25 metres (82 by 82 feet) square, almost flat, and is a famous tourist attraction in Norway. [23]

18. Pamukkale, Turkey

Bamboos for: Le Grand Portage , pic fix , RICCIO , sterol.andro

Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. [24] It is Turkey’s foremost mineral-bath spa because of its natural beauty: hot calcium-laden waters spring from the earth and cascade over a cliff. As they cool they form dramatic travertines of hard, brilliantly white calcium that form pools. [25]

19. Socotra Island, Yemen

Bamboos for: over-logging , Soqotra (Yemen)

Socotra is one of the most isolated landforms on Earth of continental origin. Socotra is considered the jewel of biodiversity in the Arabian Sea. The long geological isolation of the Socotra archipelago and its fierce heat and drought have combined to create a unique and spectacular flora. Botanical field surveys led by the Centre for Middle Eastern Plants indicate that 307 out of the 825 (37%) plant species on Socotra are endemic, i.e., they are found nowhere else on Earth. [26]

20. Carerra Lake

Bamboos for: Feffef

Shared by Argentina and Chile the deepest lake in South America is famous for its trout and salmon fishing. The waters of General Carrera Lake are beautiful, a glittering combination of emerald, turquoise, aquamarine and azure. The marble protrusions stretch along a beachside and are around 300 meters in length. The waters of the lake have slowly impacted upon the marble and, in their infinite patience, have created something of enormous, almost bewildering beauty. The rock manifests different tones which are dependent upon the natural impurities within the marble. Although the white banks, of immense purity are predominant blue and pink marble banks can also be seen due to the presence of other minerals within the rock. [27]

21. Hey, wait, there’s only 20 places here! Which place will you suggest to be the 21st?