Special Report

45 Amazing Places You Never Knew Existed

Source: Alexander Van Driessche / Wikimedia Commons

Giant Crystal Cave, Mexico

This cave in Chihuahua was discovered by a mining company in 2000. The selenite crystals inside, the largest of which are 36 feet long, were formed over possibly hundreds of thousands of years until miners drained the cave and ventured inside. Visiting the cave is unfortunately nearly impossible as the heat and 100% humidity pose a life-threatening danger to potential explorers.

Source: MBPROJEKT_Maciej_Bledowski / Getty Images

Crooked Forest, Poland

This bizarre pine forest in Poland consists of 400 trees, all mysteriously bent at the base, forming curved trunks that eventually turn upright. One plausible theory as to their shape is that they were trapped under a heavy layer of snow early in their growth. Another is that local foresters attempted to curve the trees in order to use the bent wood to make furniture.

Source: demerzel21 / Getty Images

Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

Outside the village of Vík í Mýrdal on the southern coast of Iceland is the Reynisfjara black sand beach. The beach is lined with massive volcanic formations called basalt columns that house thousands of nesting seabirds, including puffins. Visitors should beware of riptides and large, dangerous waves that randomly reach much further up the shore than expected.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Banaue Rice Terraces, Philippines

Built over 2000 years ago by the Ifugao people, the Banaue rice terraces are a vast network of irrigated rice paddies — many of them still in use — that span several villages. The terraces resemble giant stairsteps carved into the mountains and are estimated to cover 4,000 square miles.

Source: Conan-Edogawa / Getty Images

Tunnel of Love, Klevan, Ukraine

This two-mile section of railroad tunnel outside of Klevan, Ukraine, is surrounded by foliage. According to local lore, lovers of pure intentions will be granted a wish if they visit the tunnel. Trains run through the tunnel three times a day, but at other times, the tunnel is an enchanted place to take a stroll.

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