You’ve probably heard of The Great Barrier Reef, Machu Picchu, the Grand Canyon; you’ll probably even have come across less well-known places such as Arizona’s The Wave and Australia’s Lake Hillier. But there’s more that our weird and wonderful world has to offer: here are five striking sights to visit before you die: put them on your bucket list!
1. Cano Cristales, Colombia
Based in Colombia, South America, this extraordinary, living watercolour, also known as “The River of Five Colours”, surely deserves a place on your bucket list: there’s nothing like this river painted in almost every colour of the rainbow. Cano Cristales can only be reached by plane, which of course makes it a more attractive proposition. The colouration is due to a combination of algae, plants and rocks and the colour effect changes depending on the time of year.
2. Spotted Lake, Canada
Spotted Lake, based in the Okanagan Valley in the southernmost part of British Colombia, has for centuries and still remains revered as a holy site thought to provide healing waters. Most of the water in the lake evaporates during the summer, leaving colourful mineral deposits (mostly magnesium sulphate, calcium and sodium sulphates, although there are around 11 different minerals) which precipitate into ‘holes’. The holes/spots take on a rainbow of colours depending on which minerals have the highest concentration in that area.
3. Panjin Red Beach (Red Seabeach), China
Red Beach is hardly the most creative moniker for this breath-taking crimson vista, but it’s certainly an accurate one. It’s located in the middle of a vast, sprawling wetland area and is covered with a strongly alkaline soil which isn’t conducive to plant growth. This encourages the growth of a species of seaweed called Suaeda salsa which is one of the few plant species that thrives on alkaline soil and which now dominates the area. Red Beach displays its fiery red colour during the autumn, which is therefore the best time to visit.
4. Lake Retba, Senegal
Lake Retba lies at roughly 18 miles north east of Senegal’s capital, Dakar. It’s pink hue is caused by a species of algae called Dunaliella salina , which thrive in the lake’s warm waters and which produces a red pigment to help it to absorb light – the pink colour is visible during the months of November – June which is the dry season. In common with the Dead Sea, Lake Retba has a very high salt concentration, up to 40 percent in some areas, and, yep, you can float on it too.
5. Glowing Beach, Maldives
The Huffington Post has described the Maldives’ Glowing Beach as “something out of a science fiction fairy tale” According to the website, the glow is caused by bioluminescent “ostracod crustaceans” which emit light for up to a minute. Whatever the source, the sight is spectacular and long may these crustaceans continue to light the darkness.
Have you visited any of these spectacular sights? If so, share your experiences with us – use the comments box below.