Here are just some of the amazing places in our world: waterfalls, landforms, mountain regions, and areas of rich biodiversity.
See also: 10 Places That May Completely Disappear
Can you think of any other incredible places of natural beauty on Earth that you’d like to add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below!
1. Jiuzhaigou Valley, China
Stretching over 180,000 acres, this beautiful valley is known for its colourful lakes and waterfalls. The bottom of Five Flower Lake (pictured) is decorated with crisscrossed tree trunks. This region of China is remote and was little known until only a few decades ago. The Chinese government made it a national park in the 1980s.
2. Banff National Park, Canada
Canada’s oldest national park, the Banff National Park is over 2,500 square miles in area. With its numerous glaciers, ice fields, mountains and dense forest, Banff is one of the world’s most visited parks.
3. Aogashima Volcano, Japan
An island in the Philippine Sea, this is truly a wonder to behold. The island is inhabited with a tiny population of less than 200 people. It is surrounded by cliffs which are composed of layered volcanic deposits. Although its last eruption occurred in the mid-eighteenth century, this volcano is still considered a Class-C active by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
4. Shifen Waterfall, Taiwan
This is Taiwan’s broadest waterfall. A cascade waterfall, meaning that the rock is sloped in one direction and the water flows in the other, Shifen is 20 metres high and 40 metres wide.
5. Cenote Dos Ojos, Mexico
Cenotes in general are natural wonders of the world. A cenote is a naturally occurring pit resulting from the erosion of limestone. Underneath the exposed hole in the earth are reservoirs of water. It is almost like an underground lake. ’Dos Ojos’ means ’two eyes’ in English. This cenote is hidden away and can only be reached by walking through the jungle.
6. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, US
The Yellowstone National Park is located primarily in Wyoming but also extends into parts of Idaho and Montana. It is widely thought to be the very first national park in the world. Yellowstone Lake is one of the high-elevation lakes in North America, and Yellowstone Caldera is the largest supervolcano on the continent. Yellowstone gets its name from the Yellowstone River which flows through Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota.
7. Marble Caves, Chile
Formed by wave action over the last 6,200 years, the marble caves are located at the centre of a lake shared by Argentina and Chile. The Chilean side of the lake is called General Carrera Lake and the Argentinian side is called Lake Buenos Aires.
8. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Home to countless species of fish, turtles, shark, and many other aquatic species, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living organism. It is an ecosystem made up of hundreds of different kinds of coral.
9. Grand Canyon, Arizona, US
The erosions shaping the rock formations of the Grand Canyon have been caused by the Colorado River. It is a fissure (split) in the Colorado Plateau mountain range that exposes unusual layers of rock, and has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years.
10. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
One of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is situated in the mountainous karst area of Central Croatia at the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is famous the world over for the cascade arrangement of its lakes, and the lakes themselves are renowned for their distinctive colours, ranging from azure to green and grey to blue.
11. Daxia Landforms, China
Danxia landforms are a unique type of geological formation found in China. It is formed from red-coloured sandstones and a variety of coarse-grained granules, pebbles and cobbles. They cover several provinces in southeast China, and are named after Mount Danxia, one of the most famous examples of the Danxia landform.
12. Reed Flute Cave, Guangxi, China
A landmark and tourist attraction, Reed Flute Cave is a natural limestone cave filled with a large number of stalactites, stalagmites and unusual rock formations. It is named after the reed growing outside, which can be made into actual flute-type instruments. There are many ancient ink inscriptions inside the cave which can be dated back to as far as 792 AD.
13. Crystal Ice Caves, Skaftafell, Iceland
Created by the Vatnajökull ice cap, this cave formed when its glacier met the coastline. Depending on weather conditions, tourists can see ice in shades of turquoise and aquamarine. The entrance to the cave is 22 feet high. The far end of the cave narrows to only four feet tall. Tourists often note the cracking sounds as the cave moves in tandem with the glacier.
14. Iguazu Falls, Argentina
A series of waterfalls that border Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu Falls are taller than Niagara Falls and wider than Victoria Falls. The unique thing about Iguazu Falls is the number of smaller falls it divides into. Depending on the water level, the number of these smaller waterfalls fluctuates from 150 to 300. The name is derived from Guarani words meaning ’big water’.
15. Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
The size of the Amazon Rainforest makes it truly remarkable – it covers over 2 million square miles. The Amazon represents more than half of the earth’s remaining rainforests and it is the largest tropical rainforest in the world. It is noted for its biodiversity, covered by an estimated 16,000 different species of tree alone. The variety of wildlife found here is no less astounding: one in five of all the bird species in the world live in the Amazon. The region is home to over two thousand classifications of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, with more being discovered all the time.
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