TRAVEL
10/26/2013 11:09 am ET | Updated Oct 28, 2013

22 Epic Places You Didn't Know Existed

The world is full of wonders... wonders we know about (the Grand Canyon) and those we might not (see below). But it's important to note that this earth we all live on is an insanely beautiful place. In case you don't have the time (or funds) to visit these spectacular places, we thought we'd do you a solid and show you them anyway.

Herewith...

The Sossusvlei pan's Dune 45
Visit these Namibian dunes--often referred to as the highest in the world--either early in the morning or at sunset when the heat is less intense.
sossusvlei dune 45

Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows), Mexico
Adventure seekers can BASE jump into this open-air cave, some 1,200 feet down.
cave of swallows

Tane Mahuta (lord of the forest), New Zealand
New Zealand's largest living kauri tree can stand up to 167 feet tall.
tane mahuta

Great Australian Bight
Like the Cliffs of Dover, but not, these cliffs stretch roughly 720 miles along Australia's southern coast.
great australian bight

Rub' Al-Khali (Empty Quarter), Oman
The world's largest area of continuous sand measures around 250,000 square miles and covers four countries.
rub alkhali

Ushuaia, Argentina
Commonly known as southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is the jumping off point for Antarctic explorers.
ushuaia argentina

Oymyakon, Russia
The world's coldest inhabited place is nicknamed "Pole of Cold."
oymyakon russia

Gangkhar Puensum Mountain, Bhutan
The highest point in Bhutan, this mountain is often referred to as the world's highest unclimbed mountain.
gangkhar puensum mountain bhutan

Socotra, Yemen
An archipelago of islands 220 miles off Yemen, the island is among the most biodiverse on the planet. There are nine species of the dragon's blood tree (seen here) on the island.
socotra yemen

Tunnel of Love, Ukraine
Measuring in at roughly 1.8 miles long, this tunnel sits deep in the forests of Ukraine.
tunnel of love ukraine

Red Beach, Panjin, China
This red-hue on this "beach" is actually created by the seaweed Sueda, which starts growing in spring, stays green in summer and then turns this maroon-y color come fall. The beach is located within the biggest wetland and reed marsh in the world.
tunnel of love ukraine

Bamboo Forest, Japan
In Kyoto's Arashiyama district sits this unique forest of super tall bamboo in Sagano.
bamboo forest japan

This street in Bonn, Germany
For roughly 2-3 weeks a year, the cherry blossoms bloom in Bonn, creating a rosy canopy on this street.

Wisteria Tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Gardens, Japan
Ok, so it's manmade, and you can only really see it in April and May, but how cool is this?
kawachi fuji gardens

Door To Hell, Turkmenistan
There are, as it is, several gateways to hell but this one features an underground gas fire that has been burning for 30+ years.
door to hell turkmenistan

Catedral de Marmol (the Marble Cathedral), Lago General Carrera, Patagonia, Chile
Erosion has created beautiful caverns in the marble of these mineral formations. You just need to take a small boat to see it in person.
catedral de marmol

Son Doong Cave
The world's biggest cave, set in Vietnam, could fit a 40-story skyscraper within it.
111516692

Lake Retba, Senegal
The pink-hued lake gets its awesome color thanks to a bacteria which is drawn to the lake's natural saltiness. The bacteria produces a red color to absorb the sunlight, thus giving the lake its hue. It's particularly colorful in dry season (November through June).
retba lake senegal

Rainbow Mountains, China
Part of the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, these UNESCO World Heritage-designated mountains get their rainbow name as a result of red sandstone and mineral deposits being pressed together for more than 24 million years.
rainbow mountains

Cappadocia, Turkey
Conical formations caused by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago dot this stunning landscape. Now tourists stay in the many cave hotels that dot the area.
cappadocia turkey

Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Ok, so this place is well-documented (and well-visited), but it's super cool to look at.
antelope canyon


Mount Roraima, South America

This crazy eerie formation creates a natural border between Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil. It's surrounded by 1,300 foot cliffs.
mount roraima south america

Correction: A previous version of this story had an incorrect image of the Tane Mahuta tree. The error has been fixed.

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