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Nature's Wondrous Creations

Afternoon Despatch and Courier 2017-12-08 00:00:00

We’ve been captivated by the marvels of nature, the inexplicable gorgeous natural phenomena. And, Aakriti Patni has the perfect list of natural wonders that will make your travels worthwhile!

Embarking on a journey to explore nature, history and the beauty of the world, we can take pride in the fact that our wandering soul is never satisfied; it is always left awestruck with each site. Whether it is the rich history and heritage that we want to experience or the natural wonders that we want to see, sightseeing and discovering new places is what makes travel exciting. But, while we talk about castles, forts and other facets of history from all around the world, natural phenomena are sometimes left behind. And so, we bring you a few exciting and wondersome natural phenomena that you can (and should) explore.

Mount Bromo, Indonesia
An active volcano that last erupted in November 2015, located in East Java, Indonesia, Mount Bromo is part of the Tengger massif, which is a compact group of mountains. While Mount Bromo is not the highest peak in the area, it is still a popular tourist attraction in East Java. The volcano falls in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and the name ‘Bromo’ is a derivation of the Japanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god. Volcanoes are a force of nature, but what makes Mount Bromo even more spectacular is its unparalleled view of the sunrise from the peak.

The Marble Caves, Patagonia

Only accessible by boat, this geological wonder is located in the middle of the Lake General Carrera, sitting in the waters shared by both Argentina and Chile, on a peninsula of solid marble. Formed over the course of more than 6,000 years, the lake currents lapped at the marble, slowly carving out of the smooth formations that you see today. But the marvel lies in the caves that constantly change colour, displaying a range of cerulean shades as they reflect the lake’s azure waters. And, as it changes in intensity and hue depending upon the season and water level, it seems as though the Marble Caves transform!

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

The world’s largest salt flat, which was left behind by prehistoric lakes when they evaporated, Salar De Uyuni is covered with a thick layer of salt that extends into the horizon and creates polygonal patterns across the landscape. Located in the Daniel Campos Province in Potosí in Southwest Bolivia, Salar De Uyuni offers a mesmerising view to the eye, reflecting the sky when nearby lakes overflow and a thin layer of water transforms the salt flat into a virtual mirror. Serving as an excavation site for salt and lithium, the landscape is also home to the world’s first salt hotel and frequented by road-tripping tourists and visitors.

Pamukkale, Turkey

A cotton castle, as it is often called in Turkish, Pamukkale is a stunning natural formation located in the Denizli Province in south western Turkey. Known for its hot springs whose flowing water and mineral composition created enormous shimmering white terraces of travertine, it’s a sight not to be missed. Resembling limpid pools of liquid marble, the stark contrast of the bright white of the travertine against the blue of the water creates a phenomenal appearance. The ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis sits on top of this white formation, and legend has it that the travertine formations are actually solidified cotton (the area’s principal crop) that the townspeople left out to dry.

Mud volcanoes, Azerbaijan

Out of the thousand or so mud volcanoes in the world, about 400 are found in the coastal area of Azerbaijan. Also known as sedimentary volcanoes, mud volcanoes are formed in places where pockets of underground gas have hit a weak spot in the earth from which they can force their way to the surface. While a city covered in mud may not sound like the ideal holiday destination, there is something magical about this one, especially since mud volcanoes are not caused by magma. So, they can be very cold indeed, often just above freezing temperatures. While they never grow to the size of a normal volcano, the largest mud volcanoes in the world — Boyuk Khanizadagh and Turaghai — are both in Azerbaijan. Gas is trapped below the surface and a few gas leaks are constantly on fire and shoot flames into the air. Some believe that these flames are connected with the appearance of the Zoroastrian religion in the region of Azerbaijan around 2,000 years ago.