Human inhabitation on earth has often led us away from the simple and awe-inspiring fact that the earth was once as alien a landscape as the other planets in the solar system look to us today. It is therefore not surprising that some of the remnants of this ancient and mysterious geological past have made their way into the current times. Human inhabitation has changed our planets geological outlook completely. Here are 10 of the most mysterious and often psychedelic real world scenes from our very own warm and fuzzy Planet Earth.
1. Fly Geyser (USA)
This relatively unknown geyser is quite the spectacle but is often unseen on account of its location - inside private property , tucked away in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Interestingly this isnt a completely natural phenomenon. The geyser started off as an experiment in 1964 with geothermal testing. Since then the atmosphere has provided the exact micro-climate required for the thermophilic algae to blossom. These algae are what give the geyser its brilliant colours. The water that has erupted out of the geyser since the ill-fated experiment leaves calcium carbonate deposits around the geyser that form its odd and ever changing shape.
2. Cano Cristales (Columbia)
The brilliant and famous Cano Cristales is a river located in the Serrania de la Macarena in Columbia's Meta province. The river goes by various names in local folk lore, all in reference to its brilliant colour display, these include the famous "The River of Five Colors" or "The Liquid Rainbow,". Many tourists consider it the most beautiful river in the world, and the most other-worldly experience of their life.
The rivers multicolour display, and swirling patterns are completely natural phenomenon. The colours range from yellow, green, blue, black, to the most famous red. These colours are are caused by the Macarenia clavigera (Podostemaceae) which are found at the bottom of the river.
3. Dead Vlei (Namibia)
Frans Lanting, an unsuspecting National Geographic photographer was wandering around the Namib-Naukluft Park at dawn when he came upon this sight. This is a location called Dead Vlei, and although it looks like a surrealist painting this is a real photograph with no post-production. The now famous and frequented Dead Vlei area is capable of producing many such scenes due to the dead trees on a desolate desert landscape set against towering dunes that shine orange with the morning sunrise.
4. Tulip Fields in Lisse (The Netherlands)
Hollands Tulip fields are very well known, and this man made wonder is not as much mysterious and strange as it is glowing, warm and positive, and fills the viewer with fresh emotion. The fields look like a child drew over the area with a box of crayons, with the only thing giving it away being how inch perfect the lines between the various tulips are.
Dutch tulips are famous all around the world, and these farmers not only have the brightest and most colourful working conditions imaginable, they make a handsome profit as well. The tulips are at their best during the month of April.
A 400 year old tradition in the country, The Netherlands currently produce more than nine billion bulbs every year, of which two thirds are exported overseas. Thats two bulbs for every person on the planet!
5. Danxia Landform Geological Park (China)
This intriguing, strange and awe inspiring martian landscape are actually natural earth formations found on the mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in China. The fascinating geological interplay of layers played out over more than 25 million years, with influence from tectonic shifts and other activity ultimately creating a chaotic and beautiful pattern of colored sandstone and various other minerals.
6. Abandoned Mines Beneath Yekaterinburg (Russia)
Whatever the Russians might like to call them, lets call a spade, a spade - these are psychedelic salt caves. These incredible photographs were taken in the deep underground abandoned mines beneath Yekaterinburg, Russia. Layers of carnallite have formed multi coloured bands along the tunnel walls, producing these technicolor masterpieces. The mines were originally meant for extracting carnalite which is an important mineral for fertilizers. The passageways are now closed and off-limits to the public without a special government permit.
7. “Door to Hell” in Derweze (Turkmenistan)
"Door to Hell" is about the only name one could think of for this giant hole of fire in the heart of the Karakum Desert. While the photograph would make it look like a portal of biblical proportions that operates as a gateway between this world and the underworld, it is actually a crater made more than 40 years ago. But the really interesting bit, that harks back to the image of a biblical portal, is that the flames within have been burning ever since.
8. Lake Hillier (Australia)
From a distance, Lake Hillier of Australia's Recherche Archipelago looks like a swath of solid bubble-gum pink. There are infact many such pink lakes in the area that have puzzled geologists for a long time – such as the nearby Pink Lake and Senegal's Lake Retba. The causes for their pink colouration has been investigated and confiremd, but the reason behind Lake Hillier's color remains a mystery. There is some evidence, from insights gained from the other lakes, that the colour is at least partly due to the high salinity combined with the presence of a salt-loving algae species known as Dunaliella salina and pink bacteria known as halobacteria. But what has puzzled geologists and has avoided this hypothesis from gaining more acceptance is that unlike the other lakes, which regularly change colors in accordance with temperature fluctuations, Lake Hillier maintains its pink shade year-round. Amazingly, the water also retains its pink hue when bottled.
Thankfully, the water does not appear to pose any danger to humans. Though high salt levels might not make for the most comfortable swim, visitors hoping to immerse themselves in Lake Hillier's brilliant pink waters are perfectly safe to do so.
9. Hills of Ajka (Hungary)
In late 2010, the waste reservoir of a Hungarian aluminum oxide plant burst, releasing millions of gallons of caustic red sludge. This sludge acted like manmade magma, and spread quickly through the nearby area scorching anything in its path. Unfortunately, the sludge also reached two nearby villages, where buried buildings, poisoned fields and killed 10 people.
Soldiers and volunteers from across the country, manually shoveled the muck into trucks and hosed down the streets. But the sludge had left its eerie red mark on everything it had touched.
10. Kamchatka Ice Caves (Russia)
Back to Russia to finish the list, with this surreal-looking ice cave located on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. This Ice tunnel runs almost a kilometre deep and was formed by a hot water spring flowing beneath the glacial ice fields that was rapidly heated by the geological activity due to the nearby Mutnovsky volcano. The lights are colours are due to the fact that Kamchatka volcanoes have been melting in recent years, and with them the roof of this cave have started to melt as well. They are now so thin that light from the surface penetrates through it, and illuminates the strange shapes within.