Planet Earth is brimming with a plethora of wondrous sights. From towering glaciers, to multi-tiered waterfalls that crash majestically into translucent waters, or ancient monuments that were carved with stunning precision, each country has its own manmade or natural marvels.
Still, nothing captures the imagination quite like a good old unexplained phenomenon – and the world is full of those, too!
Whether you’re into murderous hotels, haunted forts, or strange patterns traced in desert sand, this list of mysterious places will coax out your more adventurous side. Check them out!
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- The Bermuda Triangle
- Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania
- The Tower of London, England
- Area 51, United States
- Crooked Forest, Poland
- Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
- Richat Structure, Mauritania
- Eternal Flame Falls, United States
- The Nazca Lines, Peru
- Kryptos, USA
- Highgate Cemetery, England
- Death Valley, USA
- Uluru, Australia
- Bhangarh Fort, India
- Stonehenge, England
- Easter Island, Chile
- Fosse Dionne, France
- Island of the Dead Dolls, Mexico
- Banff Springs Hotel, Canada
- Village of the Twins, India
- Final Thoughts
The Bermuda Triangle
As far as mysterious places go, the Bermuda Triangle must be the most well-known.
Covering an expanse of 500,000 square miles, the Bermuda Triangle is rumored to be smack bang in the Atlantic Ocean between Florida, Miami, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda. According to legends, over 50 ships and 20 planes have simply vanished into thin air while trying to cross.
Only adding to the mystery, countless other vessels – nautical and airborne – have crossed without any incident – WTF right?
Tunnel clouds and super intense electrical forces have been reported by survivors. Conspiracies about the triangle include time travel, tropical cyclones, and of course, alien abduction. Scientists did offer up the more plausible theory of gas blowouts from the ocean floor, but there hasn’t been an official explanation yet.
Take the risk and try out a twilight cruise across the Bermuda Triangle.
Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania
Until pictures of what looked like a UFO hovering started circulating back in 1968, Hoia-Baciu Forest was still relatively unknown. Nowadays, it is commonly referred to as ‘The Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania’ as many people believe it could be a portal to another dimension. Locals and tourists who pass through have previously reported nausea, rashes, and unexplained anxiety – spooky.
It goes without saying that the unnerving atmosphere has birthed plenty of ghost stories, with many claiming that this is by far the most haunted forest in the world. Romanians are all too eager to talk about the spirits and ghosts that lurk among the eerily twisted trees.
There’s a legend about a girl who vanished without a trace, before emerging from the forest five years later, with no memory of where she’d been. Since Hoia-Baciu was thrust into notoriety after the UFO sighting, you’ll also hear rumors about alien encounters and abductions.
The Tower of London, England
Set in the capital of England, the ominous Tower of London once served as a place of gristly torture and execution. Considered the most haunted place in the UK, the tower is said to be home to tormented spirits who roam its dark stone passageways.
Famous figures like Anne Boleyn and martyred Saint Thomas Becket were executed there – not to mention the many, many enemies of the crown who were tortured into insanity before being beheaded.
Tales of mysterious happenings and hauntings include a particularly gruesome sighting of Anne Boleyn floating about, carrying her own head! On an even more sinister note, historians believe that King Edward IV’s two sons were locked up and subsequently killed in the tower by their own uncle, the Duke of Gloucester.
Like virtually all mysterious places on earth, the Tower of London has its own appeal, with tourists lining up for hours to take a tour of its spooky hallways or simply to check out the dazzling collection of Crown Jewels. No visit to the UK is complete without exploring this creepy place.
Area 51, United States
This place is a conspiracy theorist’s dream come true! Steeped in mystery, Area 51 is no doubt one of the most peculiar places in the United States. Mainly because regular citizens have absolutely no idea what goes on there!
Some will tell you it’s a breeding ground for aliens. Others will say it was erected to cover up a UFO crash. There’s even been talks of a sprawling weather control station cleverly hidden out of sight. The fact that Area 51 is surrounded by a barren desert landscape with military surveillance isn’t exactly quelling those rumors either!
It goes without saying that you won’t be allowed to enter the site, but tourists still flock there on day tours to pose for selfies with that famous ‘No Photography’ sign. Ironic, isn’t it? If you’re planning a Vegas trip, stop by for a little bit of quirky fun.
Crooked Forest, Poland
Exploring Eastern Europe promises a lot of weird and wonderful things. Poland’s Crooked Forest is one of those unexplained places that draws thousands of visitors each year. Located in Eastern Poland, this protected site has over 400 oddly-shaped trees that bend at a 90-degree angle at the base. Despite the weird curvature, the trees still manage to twist over themselves in a fishing-hook-like manner to grow towards the sky.
Nobody can really understand why the trees grow like they do – although it goes without saying that many people have their own theories that range from winter snowstorms to human manipulation. The surrounding areas were completely abandoned from World War II until the 1970s, something that only adds to the mystique of the place.
Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
It would be impossible to talk about the most mysterious places in the world without mentioning Turkmenistan’s Door to Hell. Also known as the Darvaza Gas Crater, this fiery chasm opened up fifty years ago, and hasn’t stopped burning since.
It’s quite a sight to behold at night, with the glow perfectly visible from far away. Despite its ominous-sounding name, the Door to Hell is thought to have originated from a Soviet natural-gas drilling expedition that went wrong. For all the insider info, hop on a Gas Crater tour.
Armed with breathing apparatus, adventurer George Kourounis was the first person to descend into the 100-foot pit and despite the odds, he did emerge unscathed. Talk about a hot holiday destination, right?
Richat Structure, Mauritania
If you’re into crazy places, Mauritania’s Richat Structure is right up your alley. At first glance, it looks similar to Jupiter’s surface with concentric rings that appear to be constantly spinning and swirling even though they’re completely stagnant. Quick disclaimer: you need to view it from above to properly soak up the mesmerizing sights!
As whatever produced the Richat Structure is still very much a mystery, you can bet there are loads of legends about it. Many locals believe that it is a portal to another world, others claim that it’s the lost city of Atlantis.
Expect plenty of variations in terms of scientific theories, too. Some experts will tell you that the Richat Structure was formed after an asteroid impact, while others argue that it was naturally shaped by geological erosion.
And, of course, there’s no escaping the conspiracies about aliens who might’ve swooped in and made their mark.
Eternal Flame Falls, United States
A flame that never goes out and somehow manages to survive inside a waterfall? You bet that’s going to be right up there with the most mysterious places on earth!
Located in the Shale Creek Preserve, the ever-burning flame lies in a quaint grotto right at the waterfall’s base. According to a team of geologists, the flame is fueled by natural gas emitted from the waterfall.
Contrary to popular belief, the flame does go out. But, visitors can light it up with a lighter to get their pics and understand the mystic.
The Nazca Lines, Peru
A prehistoric site in South America, the Nazca Lines are a group of mysterious geoglyphs (a large design or motif) that dot Peru’s desert landscape. No one really knows what the monkey and spider-shaped geoglyphs mean, but according to archaeologists, they were created between 500BC and AD500.
Some experts believe that the curious lines and patterns are somehow related to an ancient water-related ritual, as it was quite difficult to find a proper water source. You’ll also hear rumors around Peru that the symbols are linked to an ancient cult that has some strange, and sometimes disturbing, practices.
This magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site is best seen from above. Visitors can do flyover tours above the lines.
Lure conspiracy theorists from every nook and cranny, the Kryptos was originally built for the CIA. The puzzling structure was reportedly completed on the day that the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, although it wasn’t officially inaugurated until 1990.
The weirdest thing about this 3.6-meter-high monument is that it contains four encrypted messages hidden within 97 letters. The NSA apparently solved three of these codes a while back, but the fourth message still remains a mystery.
Highgate Cemetery, England
Cemeteries are notorious for their chills-spooky vibes, but there’s just something about Highgate Cemetery that scares even the most seasoned ghost-watcher. In fact, some ghost-watchers claim that they’ve seen flickering lights and odd apparitions weaving between the lichen-covered Gothic stones.
According to the locals, Highgate Cemetery is the second most haunted place in England – after the previously mentioned Tower of London. With its endless rows of graves, thick vines, gargoyles, and hushed whispers about vampires, it should come as no surprise that the cemetery causes chills in visitors.
Despite the persistent rumors of paranormal activities, Highgate Cemetery attracts plenty of thrill-seekers. If you’re one of the brave few who would like to explore this strange albeit thrilling place, know that both the East and West ends are open every day from 10am to 5pm.
Death Valley, USA
The name is ominous itself, but what mystery does Death Valley hold? The vast desert is home to a pretty peculiar phenomenon known as Sailing Stones.
It is exactly how it sounds – stones sailing on their own across the stark desert landscape, propelled by some kind of invisible force. And no, they aren’t small pebbles either. We’re talking massive ones that probably weigh over a hundred pounds!
On another eerie note, no one has actually seen them move. But, you can clearly see the trail marks left behind. Some stones seem to move in incessant oval turns, while others have a more linear pattern. Talk about a mystery, right?
Visiting Death Valley is an easy day trip from Vegas.
Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) is one of those gorgeous yet unexplained places with mysterious origins. It is one of the must-see national parks in Australia.
Inspiring both awe and reverence, it is said to have emerged after a particularly ferocious battle between two opposing tribes. According to aboriginal legends, Uluru rose from the battlefield as a sign of the Earth’s grief. The aboriginal Anangu people believe that each region of Uluru was individually formed by ancestral spirits.
Many believe the impressive rock lies at the meeting point of several sacred paths, blessed by divine beings. Some tribes think the monolith is a mythical animal that lifts its head once a year to inspect its surroundings.
If you would like to check out Uluru for yourself, you can book a helicopter or bus tour.
Remember that Uluru is an exceptionally sacred site for Aboriginal tribes. Climbing the structure is no longer allowed. Instead, you can take a walk around the base. You are also prohibited from photographing the burial grounds, ceremonial sites, and other sacred areas.
Bhangarh Fort, India
India is full of ancient marvels, but there’s something rather unsettling about this formerly majestic fort. Bhangarh Fort dates all the way back to the 17th century. The eerie quietness that basks around the fort and stark moss-covered landscape creates an air of mystery.
Surrounded by Rajasthan’s Aravali Hills, the Bhangarh Fort is so full of paranormal activities that the Government had to release an official warning to avoid it after sunset. That doesn’t stop daytime visitors saying they felt anxious and restless when approaching the fort.
Despite the restrictions, some ghostbusters venture into Bhangarh’s interior at night. According to them, there’s a room known as the Haveli Hall that was once occupied by dancers and courtesans. To this day, you can hear the melodious chimes of bangles reverberating in the room.
Others say they heard women whispering and wailing, while some have emerged from the fort completely shell-shocked and unable to talk about what they witnessed.
Locals claim that several explorers died under mysterious circumstances while exploring.
Get to know everything about the Bhangarh Fort on a guided tour.
Oozing magic and mystery, Stonehenge is a mystical place with a curious history. Erected around 5,000 years ago, it is easily recognizable by its massive megalith stones in a circular cluster.
One of the most mysterious things about Stonehenge is that no one actually knows how the Neolithic people made it. How did they transport and organize those huge rocks?!
Archeologists reckon the structure is made from bluestone boulders sourced from the Preseli Hills, which are found around 200 miles away!
Nowadays, Stonehenge is considered a sacred place for Pagans who head there each year to celebrate the summer solstice. Arrange an audio tour to hear all the legends of the spot. Stonehenge is a quick day trip from London if you are based in the capital.
Easter Island, Chile
Easter Island is one of the most mysterious places in the world. Several centuries ago, a group of Polynesians abandoned their native island, and rowed in open water in search of another land to call home. Eventually, they came across this land.
We’ll probably never figure out why they left their homeland, but that’s not the biggest mystery. After they set up camp on Easter Island, they started carving gigantic statues out of volcanic rock.
The island didn’t gain its name until it was discovered by Jacob Roggeveen in 1972 and by then, there were over 800 colossal Moai heads scattered across.
According to archeologists, the heads represent the spirit of high-ranking males, chiefs, or ancestors of each clan that once inhabited the island.
Stop by all the Easter Island highlights on a guided tour.
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Fosse Dionne, France
Known for its ethereal beauty, Fosse Dionne is an ancient well with pure, gushing water that changes color! And the mysterious thing is, no one knows where the water actually comes from.
Nestled in France’s scenic Burgundy area, Foss Dionne is surrounded by a towering Renaissance Chateaux and beautifully manicured vineyards. Despite its mysterious origins, around 300 liters of water gush from the well every second.
While the Celts once considered it holy water, Romans used it for drinking and cleaning. Only adding to Fosse Dionne’s allure is how it swirls around the stone rim, shifting from brown to blue to turquoise depending on the position of the sun.
Island of the Dead Dolls, Mexico
Just a few minutes from Mexico City, Island of the Dead Dolls is a truly terrifying spot that’s completely shrouded in mystery.
This is one of the most crazy places in Mexico, where eerie dolls hang from tree branches with decapitated limbs and wide, empty eye sockets staring at you. There is a heavy silence that lingers over the area, only adding to the sinister atmosphere.
As if the strange ancient dolls suspended from trees aren’t spine-chilling enough, the tales that surround the Island of Dead Dolls are even more disturbing. Locals claim that a young girl once drowned in the canal of Xochimilco, and her spirit flits from doll to doll after nightfall.
If you are visiting Mexico City, add a little spook to your trip with a visit here.
Banff Springs Hotel, Canada
Here’s where the lines between fact and fiction start to get blurry. While Banff Springs Hotel was popularized by Stephen King’s iconic novel, The Shining, this property was haunted long before the book.
Despite its gorgeous Scottish-Baronial architecture, the hotel is cloaked in persistent tales of evil spirits, ghosts, and mysterious disappearances. Those who live nearby will tell you that their great-grandparents personally knew footmen who walked into the hotel, never to be seen again.
Among the many rumors that surround it, nothing is more famous than room 873 and its gristly stories. Some talk of strange sightings in the windows, others say there have been unexplained apparitions in the middle of the night. A persistent rumor is that an entire family was slaughtered in their sleep in this very room.
In the end, the hotel decided to board up the windows and seal the room forever.
Village of the Twins, India
Debates have raged as to how the seemingly nondescript village in Kerala, India, produces a steady stream of twins. In the village you’ll be met by identical faces virtually everywhere you go. Practically every family has a set of twins, or even triplets!
It continues to be one of the most mysterious places in the world because the number of twin-births increases with every passing year – and no experts can work out why! Plenty of doctors and scientists are trying to reveal the mystery. Researchers have even extracted DNA samples from the local twins, but this phenomenon still remains a mystery.
We may never know whether the rumors that surround these spooky sites are true, or if they simply emerged after decades of endless speculation. After all, some of these spots have challenged plenty of researchers, scientists, and archeologists over the years – most left without answers.
If you’re in it for the thrill or simply out of curiosity, you can be sure that these unexplained places are going to give you plenty of goosebumps!
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