At the beginning of the era of space exploration it seemed that very soon it will be possible to pack up and move to Pluto, or fly to the moon a couple of weeks on holiday. Science fiction predicted the village on Venus, trees on Mars and contacts with extraterrestrial civilizations. After half a century, it became clear that the forecasts were wrong: instead of the starry world of mankind has begun to develop a virtual one. Already it seems that the house can not go - all at your fingertips. But no, no and yes a desire to know what it is - to be in a completely alien environment, in another world. Forbes chose ten unique places, being that it is impossible to believe that all of this - we are used to on Earth.
1. The Archipelago of Socotra, Yemen
About 6 million years ago from Africa, broke a small piece of land, which is moved in the direction of the Arabian Peninsula. Lounging on the way to the island four piece managed to escape for a couple of hundred kilometers from its parent. But it had gone to 6 million years, enough for the appearance here of the unique ecosystem of more than a third of the species of plants, 90% of reptiles and almost all mollusk species found nowhere else in the world. There is certainly no octopodiformes pyatiglazov communicating in the language of clicks. But there is a dragon tree, similar to a mushroom cloud from which besides each year is flowing "blood" dendrosicyos - shapeless smooth white trunk, on top of which is a fun green "cucumbers" or sokotranskaya desert rose - also a tree, and the type of at the same time funny and repulsive. [next]
Despite their isolation, the archipelago, as recently revealed, was inhabited by another 1, 5 million years ago. In 2008, the Russian archeologist Valery Zhukov discovered stone tools here oldowan (2, 7-1 million years ago). Sensational discovery is that it is not clear how to get here the representative of that era - homo habilis, «Homo habilis." But modern humans to visit Socotra is not difficult - even on the plane, though the sea. To go better in February and March: in the rest of the time, especially from May to September, on Socotra is quite harsh and unpleasant weather with endless rains and winds knocked down.
2. Mount Roraima, Venezuela
In 1839, an expedition of the German traveler and explorer Robert Schomburgk on British Guiana literally hit the wall, taking care of the clouds. It was a mountain, but the mountain unusual - if someone has a huge knife cut it off the top, leaving a giant flat platform. Report Shomburgk the journey caught the eye of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose imagination immediately placed on a plateau miraculously preserved from prehistoric times "Lost World».
In fact, what is happening on the top of Mount Roraima - one of the tepuis, South American mesas, the rest of the vast plateau of sandstone, which existed when South America and Africa were one continent - more like a representation of science fiction writers of the 1950s about Venus: the eternal rain watering quite unearthly landscape. "Tepui" in the local Indian language means "home of the gods." But this house is pretty bleak: the rains wash away nutrients from the soil, leaving no chance of habitual life. Those representatives of flora and fauna that are still settled down here quite unique. It is no coincidence creators of the animated film "Up" (also on the journey to a lost world) for inspiration went to Roraima. Director Pete Docter and then confessed that what they saw, they used only in general terms: "It is so far from reality that the audience just would not believe».
3. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Some call it "the border of heaven and earth," but this expression is not quite true. Rather, it is a place where the sky and the top and bottom, and you can walk on it: it is the biggest mirror in the world, so much that goes beyond the horizon.
Salar de Uyuni - the biggest in the world. In the depths of a dried-up salt lake kept the stock of natural substances and minerals for many thousands of years. Such a specific composition and natural conditions have turned this place into a unique point on the planet. Firstly, elevation in an area of more than ten thousand square kilometers does not exceed one meter. Secondly, in the dry season is the brightest white plain, and when the rain falls - impeccably detailed reflection of the sky. The depth of the lake in most places no more than a few centimeters, so that it can freely roam, watching the clouds under his feet. In addition, each November the hordes of flamingos arrive here rare species and colorings. But wishing to visit the Salar de Uyuni is worth considering that it is located at an altitude of 3500 m above sea level, so I have some time to acclimatise.
4. Gallery "Wave", the US
The striking formation of sand and stones, called "Wave" is located on the border of the US states of Utah and Arizona. 200 million years of the mighty wind grind out the undulated formation with an unexpected and pleasant eye geometry. Once it had been sand dunes, under the pressure of time and the natural environment transformed into multi-colored ribbed hills; now it is one of the main lures for landscape photographers from around the world. Interest in the gallery Arizona sandstone is so high that the local authorities are forced to limit the flow of wanting to at least half an eye to look at this miracle of nature. Therefore, in the day issued only twenty tickets. And ten of them played the lottery yet four months before the proposed visit, and the other ten - a day before the trip. And if in the low season are great chances of winning approval for two or three days, in a high - from March to November - the probability falls below 50%. But if you get permission in Arizona does not work, it can be as comforting to look at similar formations in Utah: they are not as popular as the "Wave" and less impressive, but more accessible.
5. Dry Valleys, Antarctica
The driest place on Earth - this is not the Sahara or the Gobi, as might be expected, and a place in Antarctica with the speaker called Dry Valleys: in some places they do not water it was 2 million years! This plot of land is surrounded by mountains, from which under the influence of gravity with great speed (300 km / h) down cold dense air, taking with them everything that comes along the way, including water, snow and ice. If we compare these terms with what is happening on the planets of the solar system, the closest they will be to the Martian. What was the joy of scientists, when even in the harsh conditions of life has been found - a bacterium, which is sufficient for the existence of the droplets of moisture that manage to escape from the winds in the uneven surface of the rock.
Even more interesting is another bacterium, a neighbor who lives beneath the glacier Taylor, who is also geographically belongs to the dry valleys. This anaerobic bacterium recycles sulfur and iron, and the result is the ability to live with the water flows to the surface - the so-formed Blood Falls. Painted iron oxide water on a white background glacier looks horrible, as if from a huge non-healing wound gushing blood.
6. River Tinto, Spain
Even the ancient peoples of Iberia and tartessiytsev began mining in the Sierra Morena - where originates the river Tinto. Iron, copper, silver, gold, manganese - which is not only mined for 5,000 years! All this will inevitably fall into the slowly flowing waters of the local rivers and spread through the neighborhood. It would seem that nothing alive but the people in overalls and helmets, there can not be. But nature had its own way and settled here relatives of extremophile bacteria Blood Falls in Antarctica. They are happy to become poisonous to process any normal body substances. As a result, Tinto and its surroundings were painted in all shades of red and yellow, and scientists have another hope for the existence of life beyond Earth.
Local conditions are similar to the Martian and what is happening under the ice shell of Europe, a satellite of Jupiter. The most beautiful thing that it can be easy to see with your eyes, though industrial development is continuing to this day, most of the sites are free to visit the river.
7. Lake Spotted Lake, Canada
Spotted Lake Spotted Lake - one of the strangest places in the world - like no one known planets. Because of the high concentration of salt (the highest among terrestrial lakes) and the special climate Spotted Lake in the hot season is a gathering of small Ozerets, between which you can safely walk. It sounds pretty boring, but it looks unforgettable.
Thanks salts local waters have healing properties, and this feature in due time has caused fierce opposition of local Indians and colonists Europeans. Aboriginal Spotted Lake - a sacred place, it involves a lot of legends and stories, it is an integral part of the local culture. And when, in 1979, Ernest Smith, de jure owner of these lands is planned to arrange a health resort, it caused an uproar among the indigenous population. The Indians fought for the right to preserve the integrity of the protected land in twenty years, and only in 2001 it was bought for 720 thousand dollars. Since then, access to the lake is restricted and it is possible to visit, but to get permission from the elders. This, though not easy, but it is likely, as a last resort, you can enjoy views of the highway near Spotted Lake.
8. Moon Valley, Brazil
Moon Valley is located on the territory of the National Park Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in Brazil. The plateau on which the park was formed about 1, 8 billion years ago. Local rocks - the oldest in the world: they are all somewhere in a little over two times under the moon. For thousands of years the water of the river San Miguel grind natural quartz, which consists of local rock, to the most bizarre and unnatural forms. The surroundings of the valley is also remembered for a long time: In addition to fossils of ancient plants and animals are in abundance of thriving descendants: orchids, palm trees, pepper trees, anteaters, tapirs, capybaras, rheas, and others. In 2001, the National Park Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. And the only thing that can be confusing in that decision why it had taken only forty years after the discovery of the valley.
9. Qingrui du Bemarha, Madagascar
Unpronounceable name of the reserve comes from the more complicated words mitsingitsignia, that in Malagasy means "walk on eggshells". Indeed, when looking at the idea of local landscape any other form of transportation did not even come to mind.
The famous Stone Forest was formed by erosion of limestone rocks: instead of the usual mountains shoots up here palisade sharp rock peaks. Among them punched rare (in both senses of the word), trees, worn the same rare animals - lemurs - and flashed at least rare birds. Down at the bottom, too, do not get bored: there forested canyons, mysterious caves and the dark waters of the river Manambolo.
The reserve is organized in 1927 in order to preserve natural conditions, and still some parts are closed to the public. But those that are available, you still seem to be listed here from somewhere outside the Earth.
10. The volcano Dallol, Ethiopia
The crater of this volcano plausible shows what is happening on Io, Jupiter's moon: a plurality of bubbling geysers, fantastic colors and the persistent smell of sulfur. Located less than all the other volcanoes in the world - minus 48 m above sea level - Dallol is still active, so the nearby surroundings constantly seething and boiling. But the last major eruption was in 1926 - it was then formed, and "extraterrestrial" lake, which is a fancy salt formation framed pools of green and purple liquid.
Dallol crater - the hottest place on Earth: the annual average temperature here is 34 degrees Celsius. In this heat and a corrosive environment can not exist no form of life other than bacteria. They provide vivid and colorful memories each visitor of this inhospitable place.
To reach Dallol is not so simple - despite the apparent abundance of natural resources, there are not paved road. This place is regularly visited by a caravan of camels, which are taken on the backs of salt mined here.