VACATION IDEAS

Photos: 10 Places That Are Out of this World

Take a look at these 10 earthly spots that look straight out of science fiction.

  1. Alas, the Chocolate Hills on the island of Bohol in the Philippines are not a Willy Wonka paradise. The name comes from the brown color of the hills during the winter months.

    (Vitaly Titov & Maria Sidelnikova / Dreamstime.com)
  2. There are more than 1,200 of the conical hills, which vary between around 100 and almost 40 feet high.

    (Olga Khoroshunova / Dreamstime.com)
  3. Local lore has it that the mounds were formed from the tears of a giant who fell in love with a local girl.

    (Olga Khoroshunova / Dreamstime.com)
  4. The Bolivian Salt Flats are said to have been created about 30,000 years ago when Lago Minchin dried up, leaving the salt behind. A thin layer of water spread over the flats during the rainy season to create the illusion of a never-ending mirror.

    (Courtesy psyberartist/Flickr)
  5. Many tour operators will take you right out onto the flats, where the salt is still being harvested.

    (Laumerle / Dreamstime.com)
  6. There are 3,000 of these towering stone pillars in China's Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

    (Jerryway / Dreamstime.com)
  7. Rumor has it that this was the inspiration for the floating forests in Avatar's fictitious world of Pandora.

    (Iryna Sosnytska / Dreamstime.com)
  8. The flora on Socotra Island off the coast of Yemen look like works of science fiction, including the desert rose with its bulbous trunk.

    (Courtesy USAHITMAN)
  9. The canopy-topped dragon blood tree is only found on Socotra Island and gets its name from the deep red resin that flows from the trunk.

    (Courtesy USAHITMAN)
  10. The Wave in the northwest corner of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a wall of red sandstone that twists and turns in a way that just doesn't look natural.

    (Marcel Schauer / Dreamstime.com)
  11. The 300,000-acre park is known for its abundance of colorful shale and Navajo sandstone.

    (Martha Marks / Dreamstime.com)
  12. The 61-acre Spotted Lake in British Columbia evaporates during the warmest months of the year, leaving behind rings that make canonical shapes.

    (Lijuan Guo / Dreamstime.com)
  13. The high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium in the Spotted Lake have the water reflecting blue, green, and even yellow.

    (Ineke Huizing / Dreamstime.com)
  14. There are almost 40,000 hexagonal ballast columns at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland that were formed 60 million years ago by magma that spewed and cooled along the coast.

    (Dariophotography / Dreamstime.com)
  15. Some of the columns reach almost 40 feet high, while others are short enough to walk across.

    (Thomasamm / Dreamstime.com)
  16. As the name suggests, Spain's Rio Tinto runs blood red.

    (Luis Estallo / Dreamstime.com)
  17. The color of the Rio Tinto comes from a combination of rare bacteria, a low oxygen count, and pollution from mining for gold, silver, and copper.

    (Paulrommer / Dreamstime.com)
  18. The immense Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentine Patagonia is more than 50 miles in length and 500 feet deep.

    (Courtesy pclvv/Flickr)
  19. The blue hue at the face of the glacier comes from oxygen trapped inside the ice.

    (Courtesy dominicspics/Flickr)
  20. Sand that swirls through the 54,000-square-mile Simpson Desert in central Australia is blood red.

    (Olivier Meerson / Dreamstime.com)
  21. The color comes from iron oxide in the sand, with shades ranging from light pink to deep red.

    (Courtesy tensaibuta/Flickr)

Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com


Recent Slideshows


Budget Travel Real Deals


  • From $1,399
  • From $2,727

See more deals »

Recent Articles



Budget Travel Real Deals


  • From $1,399
  • From $2,727

See more deals »

Video


Loading Comments...

Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

Check Prices