21 Unbelievable Places That Look Like They’re From Another Planet But Are on Earth

Earth is home to some genuinely surreal landscapes that defy the bounds of earthly nature. These 21 destinations will transport you to what feels like another planet without ever leaving the comfort of our planet.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Stretching over 10,000 square kilometers, this vast salt flat creates a reflective surface that perfectly mirrors the sky, especially after rainfall, blurring the boundaries between Earth and heaven. The surreal landscape offers a unique experience where the sky and ground merge in infinite whiteness.

Antelope Canyon, USA

Carved by water through sandstone over millions of years, this narrow canyon boasts flowing shapes and colors that change with the sunlight’s angle. Visitors often feel like they’ve stepped into a natural cathedral of waves, with light beams creating a serene, otherworldly atmosphere.

Socotra Island, Yemen

Isolated from mainland Africa for millions of years, Socotra Island is like a living museum of evolutionary wonders, with its alien-like Dragon Blood Trees and unique biodiversity. The surreal landscapes and endemic species give it an unearthly beauty reminiscent of a natural world untouched by time.

Pamukkale, Turkey

The terraces of Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, are formed by cascading mineral-rich thermal waters that solidify into snowy white travertine. These natural thermal pools provide a stunning contrast against the turquoise waters, inviting visitors into a surreal, spa-like experience amidst ancient ruins.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

Famous for inspiring the floating mountains in the movie “Avatar,” the towering pillars of Zhangjiajie are shrouded in mist, creating an ethereal landscape that seems to float. The park’s natural beauty is a testament to the power of erosion and time, sculpting what appears to be an alien world hidden within Earth.

Wadi Rum, Jordan

Known as the Valley of the Moon, Wadi Rum’s red sand desert and towering rock formations offer landscapes so Martian that they’ve doubled for the red planet in films. The vast, silent, and starkly beautiful desert expanse speaks of Earth’s ancient past and otherworldly futures.

Lake Hillier, Australia

This bubble gum pink lake is one of nature’s most puzzling phenomena, with scientists believing the color comes from a combination of algae and high salt content. Surrounded by eucalyptus forests on Middle Island, the striking pink hue against the green and blue landscape is a visual marvel.

The Richat Structure, Mauritania

Also known as the Eye of the Sahara, this bulls-eye in the desert can be clearly seen from space, with concentric circles creating a geological enigma. The structure, initially thought to be a meteorite impact site, is a natural dome that has eroded, unveiling the layers of Earth’s history.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

The luminescent glowworms of Waitomo Caves create a starry night effect on the cave ceilings, turning the underground into a magical, illuminated world. The sight of thousands of tiny lights in the darkness is like gazing at a galaxy hidden beneath the Earth’s surface.

The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan

This fiery pit in the heart of the Karakum Desert has been burning continuously since geologists lit it in 1971, becoming a surreal spectacle. The flames and boiling mud create a Dantean vision of the underworld, attracting the brave and the curious to its infernal beauty.

Mount Roraima, Venezuela/Brazil/Guyana

Rising sharply above the surrounding rainforest, the flat summit of Mount Roraima is often enveloped by clouds, creating a mystical landscape home to unique species isolated from the ground below. Its sheer cliffs and otherworldly ecosystems have inspired tales of lost worlds and adventures beyond imagination.

Ice Caves in Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

Formed by the flowing water beneath the glacier, these ice caves offer an ephemeral beauty with their translucent blue walls and ice formations. Venturing into these caves feels like stepping into a frozen palace, where every surface sparkles with ice crystals.

Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

One of the hottest and most alien landscapes on Earth, the Danakil Depression features sulfur springs, acid pools, and salt pans in neon colors. The hostile yet visually captivating environment offers a glimpse into the primordial forces that shape our planet.

Fly Geyser, USA

Created accidentally during a drilling attempt in 1964, Fly Geyser’s continuous spouting of hot water has created a colorful, alien-like mound of mineral deposits in the Nevada desert. The geyser’s vibrant colors and strange shapes and surroundings feel more like a scene from a distant planet than a desert on Earth.

The Chocolate Hills, Philippines

Spread across the landscape of Bohol, these nearly 1,700 perfectly conical hills turn from lush green to brown in the dry season, resembling giant chocolate kisses dotting the horizon. The uniform shape and vast number of hills create a surreal, almost artificial-looking landscape that captivates visitors.

Spotted Lake, Canada

In the summer, the water of Spotted Lake evaporates, leaving behind circular mineral deposits in shades of yellow, green, and blue. This bizarre and beautiful phenomenon transforms the lake into a polka-dotted canvas of mineral art.

The Tianzi Mountains, China

These limestone towers, veiled in mist and covered in lush vegetation, create a serene yet haunting landscape that suspends the laws of nature. The area’s natural beauty is amplified by the sea of clouds that often envelop the peaks, making them appear as islands floating in the sky.

Vinicunca, Peru

Also known as Rainbow Mountain, the stratified layers of minerals paint the mountainside in streaks of lavender, mint green, and marigold, a breathtaking sight that seems painted by the hand of the cosmos. The hike to this remote wonder reveals one of Earth’s most stunning palettes.

Blood Falls, Antarctica

Oozing from the Taylor Glacier, Blood Falls’ red iron-rich water creates a stark contrast against the icy white of the Antarctic landscape. The falls are a reminder of the microbial life that thrives in Earth’s most extreme environments, offering clues to life on other planets.

The Great Blue Hole, Belize

This massive marine sinkhole off the coast of Belize is a circular abyss that plunges into deep, dark blue, surrounded by the turquoise shallows of the Caribbean Sea. Diving into the hole is like entering another world, revealing hidden caves and ancient geological formations.

The Wave, USA

The undulating sandstone rock formation near the Arizona-Utah border, with its smooth, striped waves of red and gold, appears as if sculpted by the elements into a frozen ocean wave. The delicate play of light and shadow on its curves creates an ever-changing display that mesmerizes photographers and adventurers alike.

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