Places you have to see to believe

Mother Nature's greatest hits

Beauty may be all around you, but when the time comes to explore the globe again, it’s worth venturing out a little further than your front yard to find it. We’re talking rainbow-colored mountains, staggering hot springs, and landscapes that defy all logic scattered all over the globe. Take a look at some of Mother Nature’s greatest hits.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Tucked away in the Andes in southwest Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni is a salt pan whose beauty is twofold. When dry, it’s an endless, desert-like landscape of bright white salt arranged in a hexagonal pattern. But when the region receives rainfall, the space transforms into what is essentially a giant mirror, with the still water perfectly reflecting the sky above. It’s a popular spot for photographers, and we can easily understand why.

Zhangye Danxia Landform, China

Zhangye Danxia Landform, China

No, that’s not a photoshopped mountain—the Zhangye Danxia Landform is a very real range located in north-central China. The striped mountains feature an array of reds, oranges, and yellows as if a painter spilled her palette from the sky. The effect is much more plausible: Sandstone and minerals have been building up in this area for more than 20 million years, causing the magnificent layers of color.

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Forget Stonehenge—some of the world’s most impressive rock structures can be found at Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. The natural wonder consists of polygonal basalt columns (the result of volcanic eruptions) that seem to fit together like Legos. Local legend claims that the rocks were arranged this way by a giant.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Chances are you’ve seen Antelope Canyon at least 100 times on Instagram. The reddish-orange slot canyon practically begs to be photographed, especially when the light hits the rocks at just the right angle. Definitely add this one to your list the next time you’re in the American Southwest.

Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale is a town in western Turkey best known for its eponymous hot springs. The springs are stacked on the side of a mountain like a series of tiny infinity pools, each filled with saturated, mineral-rich water. It’s enough to make you never want to look at a hotel hot tub again.

Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming

Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming

It’s hard to find a spot in Yellowstone National Park that isn’t beautiful, but the park’s Grand Prismatic Spring stands out among the pack. The spring is around 370 feet wide, making it the third-largest hot spring in the entire world, but it’s most famous for its rainbow-colored rings. The center is bright blue (due to its extremely high temperatures, no color-rich minerals can survive there), then transforms into green, yellow, and orange as it gets further to the edge. Something this perfectly designed could only come at the hand of Mother Nature.

Seek out the greatest of the great outdoors

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