Fascinating Geological Wonders On Earth

This planet we live on offers us beauty beyond words. Every country has its own special region that takes your breath away with the magnificence of it. Here we can see some places that are a geological wonder that you may know about already, or maybe not?

Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA

Antelope Canyon is one of the world's most beautiful canyons. Called Tse bighanilini in Navaho, which means "the place where water runs through rocks", it is found in the state of Arizona. It was formed from the erosion of rocks, when flash floods above picked up speed and grit. The water and sand smoothed and carved the edges of the slot canyon, widening it in some areas. Mother Nature truly is an abstract artist!

Pamukkale, Turkey

These stunning terraces of water are found in Pamukkale Turkey and were shaped from a substance called travertine, which forms from the build-up of sediments of calcium carbonate deposited in water from hot springs. Then the calcium dioxide degasses and you are left with these beautiful terraces, with warm water flowing over them.

The Wave, Arizona, USA

This incredible formation of sandstone rock is stunning in its colors. Formed from Jurassic era sandstone (about 190 million years old), researchers say that sand dunes compacted and hardened, with erosion now forming the wavelike lines and shapes in the structure. Like a painting, everywhere you look there are new and amazing shapes to stun the eye.

Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand

The Moeraki Boulders are amazing boulders found on the New Zealand coast. They are highly spherical in almost all cases and were exposed due to erosion and winds. As with many geological wonders, you would be excused for thinking that giants have been there, playing marbles as they crash among the waves.

Bungle Bungles, Australia

Bungle Bungles are found in the the Purnululu National Park in Western Australia, also a World Heritage Site. They are beehive shaped mounds with tiger striping caused by bacteria growing on the gray stripes and iron manganese on the red. They're an incredible sight, looking like the condominiums of giant bees as big as helicopters!

Fantasy Cave, Bermuda

Many know of Crystal Cave in Bermuda but few know of her sister cave, Fantasy. As beautiful as her sibling, she is also deeper. There are 88 steps down into her cavern. The authorities had to close the cave for a long time in the 1940s, but it was reopened with all new lighting and pathways in 2001.

Wave Rock, Australia

This incredible rock is found in Hayden, Australia. It looks like the earth sculpted a breaking wave and put it down on the land - which is almost exactly what happened! The rock, composed of granite, formed by a process of erosion while still underneath the earth 60 million years ago! As the earth exposed more of the area, it finally came into view to amaze and delight us all.

Chocolate Hills, The Philippines

The Chocolate Hills in the Philippines are named for their resemblance to Hershey kisses during the dry season when the grass is brown. With estimates of up to 1,776 of these amazing mounds - actually called haycock hills - they make a spectacular landscape. When visiting, you are standing on millions of years' worth marine limestone, which contains fossils, old coral and mollusks! They were created by erosion from above and below by water after they had been lifted up from sea level.

Stone Forest, Madagascar

The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in Madagascar is also known as its Stone Forest. The unbelievable array of rock formations are part of the World Heritage Site and National Park. The forest is also home to numerous species including critically endangered lorises. As is often the case, the local name is a perfect descriptor, as it means "where you cannot walk barefoot". These karst formations were formed through erosion of the uplands – erosion that happened both horizontally and vertically, creating a breathtaking sight of "trees", fissures and caverns.

Crystal Cave of Giants, Mexico

Standing in 90 degree heat on huge logs of crystals, one might indeed be in a giants' showroom in Chihuahua, Mexico. Dwarfing humans in size, these are the largest crystals of selenite ever found. The heat inside comes from magma under the floor of the cave, and it was magma-heated water that once filled the whole space. As a result, it became rich in minerals like gypsum, causing the crystal logs to form. Because of the heat and humidity, scientists can't spend more than 10 minutes at a time in the cave without suffering ill effects, so it is no wonder tourists won't have the opportunity to visit in the near future.

The Blue Grotto, Italy

The Blue Grotto in Capri is a gorgeous cave with a brilliant blue color to it due to two separate sources of light. One is tiny, the opening you can see in this picture which allows small rowboats in. The other opening is much larger and beneath the first, sending in rays of light into the cave from below. Of course, it is more difficult for this second hole to allow light through as it is underwater, but its size makes the difference.

Sailing Stones, Death Valley, USA

This mysterious and ghostly phenomenon occurs at Racetrack Playa, Death Valley which is a fitting location! The stones travel long distances without any human or animal help! It seems as if they just lift themselves up and scoot along, making a trail or groove in the rock surface as they travel. Scientists' best guess as to why this happens at present is that wind at the level of the stones causes them almost to hydroplane. Sometimes they turn left or right, and other times it looks like two stones are racing each other. They only move every three or four years and the grooves take some time to build up. Definitely a wonder of the world!

The Eye of the Sahara, Mauritania

Formally known as the Richat Structure, the Eye of the Sahara is a much more appropriate name. This mysterious blue eye has puzzled scientist since the first space flights, when astronauts noticed it looking back at them. Space shuttles use the 50 km-wide feature as a landmark even today, it is so clear in the middle of the barren Sahara desert. Researchers now believe it is a "symmetrical uplift", essentially an area that rose up as hard quartz while softer rock and sand was eroded from it.

Fingal Cave, Scotland

The breathtaking Fingal's Cave in Scotland gives you impression that someone has built it. The perfect hexagonally jointed basalt columns were formed during many years when the hot lava was cracked into perfect hexagonal patterns in a similar way to drying mud cracking as it shrinks, and these cracks gradually extended down into the mass of lava as it cooled and shrank to form the columns, which were subsequently exposed by erosion. There are similar phenomenon in Northern Ireland and Ulva in Scotland.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni is located on the Andes in Bolivia and is the world's largest salt flat. It's a dried salt lake which has created an amazing flat few meters high salt crust and consists from 50 to 70% of the world's reserves of lithium. However, it's not the reason why this place is so famous. During the raining season the water creates the world's largest mirror. You can see the sky and clouds under your feet and feel like you're walking on them. Although it's a quite remote place, there are still a lot of tourists who make their best photos in Salar de Uyuni.


Top 10 Weird Lizards

The top 10 lizards brought to you buy a guy who knows about all sorts of things – creepy, crawly, and otherwise.

10 Bizarre Restaurants to Eat in Before you Die

Whether it’s sipping lattes in a treehouse or devouring seafood at the bottom of the ocean, dining at these bizarre restaurants deserves a spot on your “Things to do before I die” list.

If you’ve got a penchant for eating in eye-popping circumstances, keep an eye out for these restos on your travels…

1. Ithaa Restaurant, Indian Ocean

No, it’s not a typo, the Ithaa (translation: pearl) is totally underwater and can comfortably seat 14 diners in a transparent acrylic bubble that allows you to have a 270° panoramic view of the ocean life all around you.

Offshore from Rangalifinolhu island in the Maldives, this expensive and exclusive dining experience is located by a tunnel from the shoreline Conrad Maldives that leads you down five metres below sea level. Since the expected lifespan of this restaurant is only 20 years, make sure you visit before it starts to leak!

2. Modern Toilet, Taipei

No, it’s not a joke, it’s a hit in Taipei where diners line up – not because they are waiting to get to the loo but waiting to get a chance to dine while sitting on commodes, using toilet paper for napkins and getting their drinks from sink faucets.

Even some of the Modern Toilet‘s tables are glass-topped bathtubs and the dishes are served in tureens that resemble mini-toilet bowls. One must assume that the food is appetizing enough to overcome the decidedly unappealing atmosphere because it continues to draw business like flies to… well, you get the picture.

3. Dinner in the Sky, Brussels

Unlike most restaurants, Brussels’ Dinner in the Sky doesn’t so much welcome you into its comfortable confines but hoists you – dinner companions and wait staff and all – up to 150 feet into thin air. Using specifically designed cranes and tables with attached seating, they can accommodate up to 22 people at a time or just provide an intimate, but rather exposed, table for two.

Regardless of your party size you choose to the lifted high above what ever part of the city suits your fancy so you can watch the everyday events on the ground from a bird’s-eye view. Naturally, this popular idea is catching on and both Las Vegas and Paris have copycat concepts. Regardless of where you tried, be sure and buckle up and don’t be tempted to lunge for a dropped fork!

4. The Clinic, Singapore

Some people fly to Singapore just to check out this medically-based restaurant that offers drinks like “Sex on a Drip” served up in an atmosphere reminiscent an operating theater — complete with waitresses in nurse uniforms and drinks served in test tubes.

Their website is a testament to their pharma-chic pop-art approach to dining, so if you find the medicinal arts fascinating this might be just the place for you. However, if you suffer from needle phobia, get the willies around wheelchairs or get to the sound of a beeping EKG gives you a headache, The Clinic might wind up sending you to the real clinic instead of satisfying your hunger.

5. Cabbages and Condoms, Thailand

With the motto like “our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy” you might wonder what you’re getting into if you stumble on the Cabbages and Condoms chain of restaurants in Thailand, but strangely enough it is just what it sounds like – a restaurant promoting birth control.

Don’t worry, their cuisine is considered top notch and the condoms don’t actually come on the plate, but the theme of “safe sex” is predominant and everyone leaves with a complimentary condom instead of an after dinner mint, although don’t be surprised if it is mint flavored.

6. New Lucky Restaurant, Ahmedabad

Customs considered to bring good luck in Ahmedabad include sharing your meals with the departed and although it sounds rather macabre, this restaurant that is literally built around a graveyard has enjoyed tremendous success over the years – so maybe they know what they’re talking about.

Started in the 1950s as a tea stand, New Lucky Restaurant has expanded throughout the years so that diners now find their tables interspersed amid the tombs of someone’s ancestors, although no one quite seems to know for sure who is buried under foot. Nonetheless, fresh flowers are put out every day in respect and diners find their silent dinner companions so comforting it has become a favorite hangout for locals, romantic couples and the very young.

7. Dark Restaurant, Beijing

If you like a good mystery, figuring out what your eating at the Dark Restaurant in Beijing should keep you guessing quite awhile because all the meals are served in total darkness by waiters with night vision goggles.

While on the surface this might not seem too appealing, business is brisk even though guests are requested to not even use their cell phones while dining because the light will disrupt the experience. Figuring out what you are eating often becomes the highlight of the evening, but finding your way to the bathroom can get tricky.

8. Mars 2112, New York City

Smack in the middle of the urban landscape of NYC is a door to another world… at least that is what it feels like the minute you step into Mars 2112, the newest family-friendly restaurant with a Martian mystique that appeals to all ages.

Hang out with the intergalactic crowd at the Mars Bar under a three-story crystal tree where you can enjoy the view of the Martian heavens. While you see the Earth from a whole new perspective, peruse the “red dirt” gossip in your complimentary copy of MARS TODAY or catch up on the latest galactic craze on MARS TV. Signature cocktails emphasize the alien motif for adults while an extensive kids’ menu turns mealtimes into an out-of-this-world experience.

9. Tree House Restaurant & Cafe, Monteverde

For those who love dining amid the sights and sounds of nature, Costa Rica’s Treehouse Restaurant and Cafe is like a trip to paradise. Built amid the fantastically artistic branches of a giant Higueron tree that towers high above the Monteverde Cloud Forest, you don’t have to even have to sacrifice the joys of civilization while basking in the primitive beauty since this popular spot even offers Wi-Fi.

So prepare to have the best of both worlds as you surf the internet while hanging with the birds in the trees, with none of the typical conflicts of man vs nature – well, except for the mosquitoes!

10. Hot Chicka-Latte, Seattle

Notorious for having a coffee shop on every corner, it was inevitable that some Seattle entrepreneur would see the sense of combining two of America’s favorite draws – caffeine and scantily clad women. Hot Chicka-Latte‘s costume-clad divas whip up the java classics and serve breakfast fare while giving an ample view of their more intimate, ahem, tattoos, and the business is perky with some of the chicks taking home over $300 per shift.

Just to make sure passersbys don’t miss the fun, one of the scantily-clad ladies is always stationed out front – supposedly regardless of the weather - holding the sign for the daily special, a practice that just adds fuel to the fire of controversy surrounding the establishment.


Ten Largest Monoliths in the World

What exactly is a monolith? Anyone who has seen the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey will probably have the image of an advanced machine built by aliens to encourage humankind to progress with technological development. Actually, the word monolith comes from the Greek word “monolithos”, derived from mono (“one” or “single”) and lithos (“stone”). In the context of this top 10 list it refers to a geological feature such as a mountain, consisting of a single massive stone or rock.

A problem with finding the largest monolith is that the term “monolith” is somewhat ambiguous. Geologists therefore often prefer the terms monadnock or inselberg (literally “island mountain”) to describe an isolated hill or a lone mountain that rises above the surrounding area. Most monoliths in this top 10 are inselbergs, although not every inselberg is a monolith. For example, Mount Augustus in western Australia is often called a monolith but it is actually a monocline, an exposed piece of rock belonging to a layer beneath. In other words a monocline is not a single piece of rock although the distinction isn’t always clear.

Another problem is that many rocks and mountains are called the largest monolith in the world but these claims are rarely backed up by geological information and may be based upon a single dimension such as height or circumference. Furthermore, height may be measured above sea level or the surrounding ground.

In any case, here is a list of some of the largest, biggest and most interesting monoliths on the planet.

10. Peña de Bernal

Peña de Bernal (“Bernal Peak”) is Mexico’s largest monolith located in San Sebastian Bernal, a small town in the state of Queretaro. The rock rises 350 meters (1148 feet) above the town and was formed some 100 million years ago during the Jurassic period when it was at least three times higher than today.

9. Rock of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom on the southern coast of Spain at the entrance to the Mediterranean sea. The 426 meters (1,396 feet) high limestone monolith is the home of 27,800 Gibraltarians and 250 Barbary macaques, the only wild primates in Europe. In Greek mythology Gibraltar was one of the Pillars of Hercules which marked the edge of the Mediterranean and the known world.

8. El Capitan, Yosemite

One of the most famous sights in Yosemite National Park, the granite monolith El Capitan rises almost 910 meter (3,000 foot) vertically from Yosemite Valey. It is is a favorite challenge among expert rock climbers. In 1958, Warren J. Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore were the first to climb the Nose of El Capitan using ropes, pitons and expansion bolts.

7. Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine is a national park in the Extreme South region of Patagonian Chile and features mountains, lakes and glaciers. The centerpiece of the park are the three Towers of Paine; spectacular granite monoliths shaped by the forces of glacial ice. The highest peak is about 2,500 meters (8200 feet).

6. Ben Amera

Mauritania’s best kept secret, the Ben Amera lies hidden in the desert waiting to be discovered by mass tourism. According to some sources it is the second largest monolith in the world after Uluru. Ben Amera is located 5km from Tmeimichat, a small village on the route of the desert train between Nouadhibou and Zouerate.

5.Devils Tower

Rising 386 meters (1,267 feet) above the surrounding terrain, Devils Tower is the core of an ancient volcano exposed from erosion. It is located in the Black Hills in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming and was declared a United States National Monument in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. The mountain became world famous in 1977 when it was chosen as the location of the alien-human rendezvous point in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar winning science fiction film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

4. Sigiriya

Sigiriya is a spectacular 370 meter (1214 foot) high ‘Lion rock’ fortress overlooking the green jungle surroundings. It is one of Sri Lanka’s major tourist attractions. The Sigiriya rock is a hardened magma plug from an extinct and long-eroded volcano, similar to Devils Tower. From about the 5h century BC it was used as a rock-shelter mountain monastery and later turned into a rock fortress by King Kasyapa.

3. Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain (Portuguese: Pao de Acucar) is one of the most commonly recognized and sought after tourist attraction in Rio de Janeiro. Situated on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean, the mountain rises 396 meters (1,299 feet) above sea-level. A cable car brings visitors to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain where spectacular views of Copacabana and other beaches can be admired.

2. Zuma Rock

Nigeria’s answer to Australia’s Uluru, Zuma Rock lies north of Nigeria’s capital Abuja and is easily observed by driving the main road from Abuja to Kaduna. Although only one-third as wide as Uluru, Zuma Rock is more than twice as high, rising an impressive 725 meters (2378 feet) above its surroundings. According to some observers a person’s face can be recognized in the white part at the center of the rock.

Largest Monoliths In The World
1.Uluru/Ayers Rock

Uluru is one of Australia’s most recognizable natural icons, located 335 km (208 miles) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs. It is the largest monolith in the world. The world-renowned sandstone formation stands 348 meter (1,142 foot) high and measures 9.4 km (5.8 miles) in circumference. The rock undergoes dramatic color changes with its normally terracotta hue gradually changing to blue or violet at sunset to flaming red in the mornings as the sunrises behind it.