18 Of The Most Surreal Landscapes On Earth

Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia covered with a layer of waterWikimedia CommonsA man stands on a salt field in Bolivia during the wet season.

Planet Earth is chock-full of bizarre landscapes.

Some are land formations moulded over thousands of years by Mother Nature, while others are simply man-made creations that have altered the earth in strange ways.

From Tanzania to China, these 18 landscapes give surrealist painters a run for their money.

Near the city of Torrevieja in southwest Spain lie two salty and very pink lakes called Las Salinas de Torrevieja. The colour is caused by algae that releases a red pigment under certain conditions.

Namibia's Dead Vlei, or 'dead marsh,' is surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world and dotted with dead trees more than 900 years old.

The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia's Danakil Desert is one of the hottest inhabited places on the planet, with temperatures ranging from 95 degrees Fahrenheit to as high as 145 degrees.

Lake Natron in Tanzania is known for its deep red hue. The lake is part of the East African Rift Valley, and gets its colour from the algae that live on salt in the water from nearby volcanoes.


Tsingy de Bernaraha National Park in Madagascar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 'forest' of limestone needles was made when underground water eroded the existing limestone.

Antelope Canyon in Arizona is the most photographed canyon in the American Southwest. It was formed by flash-flooding and erosion, which gave the rock its smooth, wave-like texture.

Fly Geyser is a little-known tourist attraction in Nevada that was accidentally created in 1916 during a well drilling. Water heated by geothermal energy escaped to the surface, creating the multi-coloured mount.

Huacachina is a literal oasis in the Peruvian desert. It's a resort town built around a small, natural lake in the Southwestern Ica Region.

Northern Iran is home to a naturally formed staircase known as Badab-e Surt. Two mineral hot springs deposited carbonate minerals on the mountain over thousands of years, leaving behind pools of water and naturally-formed steps.

Las Salinas Grandes is a massive salt desert in Argentina. The 2,300-square-mile field is filled with pools of water created by mining companies that harvest salt there.

At first glance, the Lencois Maranhenses Sand Dunes of northeastern Brazil look like your average sand dunes, but the valleys are filled with water since the low-lying lands often flood during the wet season. Fish even live in the pools.

Petra, in Jordan, was the capital city of the Nabateans, a pagan civilisation. The famed city was built from the surrounding red sandstone.

The rice terraces of Yunnan, China, are carved into the hillside. Different types of vegetation lend the landscape its alternating hues.

The Cappadocia Valley in Turkey is home to thousand-year-old cave dwellings. Many of the ancient underground homes are still occupied.

The Crystal Caves of Naica, in Mexico, were discovered in 2000. The immense crystals are believed to have grown for about 500,000 years due to the chamber's unique conditions.

Bryce Canyon in southwestern Utah is home to brightly coloured geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and erosion.

During the wet season, the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia are covered in a thin layer of water, creating surreal reflections of the sky.

Looking for something a little closer to home?

NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.