Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos
The remote falls of Kuang Si in Laos are characterized by a series of stone-lined travertine pools etched out by waterfalls. The pools are smaller near the beginning of the falls and wider (and swimmable) near the bottom. Locals charge a small entrance fee and have built a wooden observation deck on site.
The Palouse, Idaho and Washington
The Palouse is an area in Idaho and Washington of gentle rolling hills resembling sand dunes that were created by tens of thousands of years of glacial rock dust and silt blowing into the area. Much of the hills are now covered in wheat and barley fields that range from green in spring to gold and brown in late summer. Vineyards are also beginning to become a prevalent part of the landscape.
The Racetrack, Death Valley National Park, California
The Racetrack is home to the moving rocks of Death Valley. These rocks have intrigued scientists and visitors for decades by mysteriously traveling without apparent human intervention and leaving long trails in the cracked, dry, earth. In 2013, researchers finally solved the mystery after witnessing the rocks moving as a result of winter rains. Pools of rainwater began to freeze, forming thin layers of surface ice that eventually broke into sheets that could float and move in the wind, shoving the rocks in front of them.
Lake Natron, Monduli, Tanzania
A seeming hell on earth, Lake Natron in Tanzania is a salt lake nearly as alkaline as ammonia, with a fiery red hue due to cyanobacteria that thrive in the hot water, which can reach 140 degrees Farenheit. The alkaline waters corrode most objects that come into contact with them, including birds who mistakenly crash into the glass-like surface. The calcified bodies of birds and other animals can be seen washed up along the shores, resembling stone replicas.
Avenue of the Baobabs, Morondova, Madagascar
This small grove of 800-year-old baobab trees lining the road from Morondava to Belo Tsiribihina in Madagascar was once part of a dense forest. The remaining trees, some of which are 150 feet in circumference, are the focus of local preservation efforts and were granted a temporary protected status in 2007.