30 Places On Earth That Don’t Look Real

In a world filled with breathtaking landscapes and awe-inspiring natural wonders, there are certain places that seem to defy reality. These extraordinary locations are so unique and visually stunning that they appear to be straight out of a fantasy novel or a dream.

From the surreal landscapes of Iceland to the vibrant colors of the Rainbow Mountains in Peru, these 30 places will leave you questioning whether they truly exist or are merely figments of your imagination.

Join us on a journey to discover these jaw-dropping destinations that will make you want to pack your bags and embark on an adventure of a lifetime.

This list and media were all put together by James Lucas

Underwater waterfall, Mauritius

The underwater “waterfall” in Mauritius is a breathtaking optical illusion that can only be seen from above. The illusion is created by sand and silt on the ocean floor running off, giving the appearance of the island being pulled into a massive drain.

This unique phenomenon is a testament to the power of nature and the incredible beauty that can be found beneath the surface of the ocean.

Sørvágsvatn, “the lake above the ocean” in the Faroe Islands

Perched high above the Atlantic Ocean, Sørvágsvatn is a mesmerizing lake that seems to defy the laws of gravity. This optical illusion is created by the stark contrast between the calm, serene waters of the lake and the dramatic cliffs that plunge into the ocean below.

The juxtaposition of these two bodies of water creates a stunning visual effect that will leave you in awe of nature’s incredible beauty.

Nara Park, Japan

Nara Park

Nara Park is a magical place where nature and history collide. The park is home to hundreds of freely roaming deer, considered sacred messengers of the gods in Shinto religion.

These gentle creatures can be seen lounging beneath the delicate pink blossoms of the sakura trees, creating a scene that looks like it belongs in a fairy tale. The combination of the ancient temples, the majestic deer, and the stunning natural beauty of the park make Nara a truly unforgettable destination.

Zhangjiajie, China

Zhangjiajie, the mountains that inspired the movie Avatar, is a breathtaking natural wonder located in China’s Hunan Province. The towering sandstone pillars, some reaching heights of over 3,000 feet, are shrouded in mist and surrounded by lush vegetation, creating an otherworldly landscape that seems too incredible to be real.

The park’s stunning beauty and unique geological formations have made it a popular destination for travelers from around the world.

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil


Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is a vast expanse of sand dunes interspersed with crystal-clear freshwater lagoons. During the rainy season, these lagoons form in the valleys between the dunes, creating a stunning contrast of blue water against the stark white sand.

The impermeable rock beneath the dunes prevents the water from draining, allowing these incredible natural pools to persist throughout the year.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is a tropical paradise that seems too perfect to be real. With its turquoise lagoon, lush green mountains, and overwater bungalows, this South Pacific island is the epitome of luxury and relaxation.

The vibrant coral reefs surrounding the island are home to an incredible array of marine life, making it a popular destination for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.

Meteora Monasteries, Greece

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The Meteora Monasteries in Greece are a testament to human ingenuity and the power of faith. These ancient monasteries, perched atop towering rock formations, seem to defy gravity and logic.

The stunning natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, combined with the incredible architecture of the monasteries themselves, creates a truly awe-inspiring sight that will leave you feeling humbled and inspired.

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

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The Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar is a stunning natural wonder that looks like something out of a dream. These ancient trees, some of which are over 800 years old, tower over the landscape, their massive trunks and sprawling branches creating a surreal and otherworldly scene.

The avenue is particularly stunning at sunset, when the warm golden light bathes the trees in a soft, ethereal glow.

The Wave in Arizona, United States

The Wave in Arizona is a remarkable geological formation that looks like a frozen ocean wave. The swirling bands of red, orange, and pink sandstone create a mesmerizing pattern that seems too perfect to be natural.

The formation of the Wave began 190 million years ago, when desert dunes compacted and solidified into striped sandstone, creating this incredible natural wonder that draws visitors from around the world.

Rainbow Mountains, Peru

The Rainbow Mountains in Peru are a stunning display of color and geology. These mountains, also known as Vinicunca, are striped with vibrant hues of red, yellow, green, and purple, creating a surreal landscape that looks like it belongs on another planet.

The colors are the result of mineral deposits and varying degrees of oxidation, which have occurred over millions of years. Hiking through this incredible natural wonder is an experience that will leave you in awe of the beauty and diversity of our planet.

Pamukkale, Turkey

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Pamukkale is a unique natural attraction in Turkey, featuring geothermal springs, terraced reservoirs of travertine deposits on the mountainside, and the remains of the ancient city of Hieropolis.

The white calcium carbonate travertine terraces, formed by the mineral-rich waters, create a stunning contrast against the blue sky and the green landscape. Visitors can bathe in the warm, therapeutic waters and explore the fascinating history of this incredible site.

Namibia, where the desert meets the ocean

In Namibia, the vast expanse of the Namib Desert meets the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a stunning contrast of sand and sea.

The towering sand dunes, some of the highest in the world, glow a deep orange in the setting sun, while the cool blue waters of the ocean provide a refreshing respite from the heat. This incredible natural wonder is a testament to the raw beauty and power of the Earth.

Keukenhof, Netherlands


Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, is a spectacular flower garden in the Netherlands. With over 7 million bulbs planted annually, this idyllic wonder is one of the largest flower gardens in the world.

During the spring, the garden explodes with vibrant colors as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other flowers bloom in a stunning display of natural beauty. Visitors can stroll through the meticulously landscaped gardens, marveling at the incredible variety and beauty of the flowers.

Stuðlagil Canyon, Iceland

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Stuðlagil Canyon in Iceland is a hidden gem that showcases the country’s incredible geological history. The huge basalt pillars that line the canyon walls are believed to be more than 2 million years old, a remnant of the ice age.

The stunning columnar basalt formations create a surreal and otherworldly landscape that looks like it belongs in a fantasy novel. The crystal-clear waters of the river that runs through the canyon add to the beauty and serenity of this incredible natural wonder.

Tunnel of light in Petra, Jordan

The Tunnel of Light in Petra, Jordan, is a breathtaking sight that showcases the incredible history and architecture of this ancient city. As visitors walk through the narrow canyon, the towering red rock walls seem to close in around them, creating a sense of mystery and anticipation.

At the end of the tunnel, the iconic Treasury building is revealed, its intricate facade bathed in a soft, golden light. This incredible experience is a testament to the ingenuity and artistry of the ancient Nabataean people who carved this city out of the rock.

Burning Dolomites, Italy

The Burning Dolomites in Italy are a stunning natural phenomenon that occurs when the setting sun illuminates the jagged peaks of the Dolomite Mountains. The warm, golden light transforms the rugged landscape into a breathtaking display of color and shadow, creating an almost surreal and otherworldly scene.

As photographer Dorpell (Dorian Pellumbi) described it, “An apocalyptic scenario that only Mother Nature could choreograph.” This incredible natural wonder is a testament to the raw beauty and power of the Earth.

The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan

The Door to Hell in Turkmenistan is a fascinating and eerie natural phenomenon that has been burning continuously since 1971. This massive crater, measuring 70 meters wide and 30 meters deep, was created when a natural gas field collapsed during a Soviet drilling operation.

The escaping gas was intentionally set on fire to prevent the spread of methane, and it has been burning ever since. The sight of the flames dancing against the stark desert landscape is both mesmerizing and unsettling, a reminder of the incredible power and unpredictability of nature.

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Iceland

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Iceland is known for its stunning black sand beaches, which are a result of the island’s intense volcanic activity. These beaches, such as Reynisfjara on the south coast, are composed of tiny fragments of basalt rock that have been eroded over time by the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

The stark contrast of the jet-black sand against the white foam of the crashing waves creates a stunning visual effect that is both beautiful and haunting. Walking along these beaches, visitors can feel the raw power of nature and marvel at the incredible geological forces that have shaped this unique landscape.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

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Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is the largest salt flat in the world, a vast expanse of white stretching as far as the eye can see. During the rainy season, a thin layer of water covers the salt, creating a stunning reflection of the sky above and giving the illusion of cycling on the edge of clouds.

The experience of riding a bike across this incredible landscape is both surreal and exhilarating, as the horizon seems to disappear and the world becomes an endless mirror of sky and earth. This natural wonder is a testament to the incredible beauty and diversity of our planet.

Lake Hillier, Australia

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Lake Hillier in Australia is a stunning natural wonder that is famous for its vibrant pink color. The lake, located on Middle Island off the southern coast of Western Australia, is believed to get its unique hue from the presence of a microalgae called Dunaliella salina.

The contrast of the bright pink water against the surrounding lush green vegetation and the deep blue of the ocean creates a truly surreal and otherworldly landscape. Visitors can take a scenic flight over the lake to fully appreciate its incredible beauty and marvel at the wonders of nature.

Elephant Rock, Iceland


Elephant Rock in Iceland is a remarkable natural formation that looks strikingly like an elephant dipping its trunk into the ocean. Located on the Westman Islands off the south coast of Iceland, this basalt rock formation has been shaped by the forces of wind and water over millions of years.

The resemblance to an elephant is uncanny, with the distinct shape of the trunk, head, and body clearly visible. Visitors to this incredible site can marvel at the power of nature to create such stunning and whimsical formations, and enjoy the rugged beauty of the Icelandic coastline.

Mont Saint-Michel, France

Mont Saint-Michel in France is a breathtaking island abbey that seems to rise out of the sea like a mirage. This medieval monastery, perched atop a rocky outcrop, has been a pilgrimage site for centuries and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Gothic architecture of the abbey is stunning, with soaring spires and intricate carvings that testify to the skill and devotion of the monks who built it. At high tide, the island is completely surrounded by water, creating a magical and otherworldly atmosphere that captivates visitors from around the world.



Switzerland is often referred to as a paradise on Earth, and it’s easy to see why. The Swiss Alps are a stunning natural wonder, with snow-capped peaks, pristine glacial lakes, and lush green valleys that seem too perfect to be real.

The beauty of the landscape is matched only by the charm of the picturesque villages and towns that dot the mountainsides, with their traditional chalets and flower-filled window boxes.

Whether hiking through the mountains, skiing down the slopes, or simply admiring the view from a cozy cafe, Switzerland is a destination that will take your breath away and leave you feeling like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale.

Arcomagno Beach, Italy

Arcomagno Beach in Italy is a hidden gem that looks like something out of a dream. Located in the Calabria region of southern Italy, this stunning beach is tucked away in a secluded cove, accessible only by foot or boat.

The highlight of the beach is the natural rock arch that spans the width of the cove, creating a stunning frame for the turquoise waters and white sand below. Swimming beneath the arch and looking up at the blue sky above is an unforgettable experience that feels like entering another world.

The Eye of the Earth, Croatia

The Eye of the Earth in Croatia is a stunning natural wonder that looks like a giant eye gazing up at the sky. Located in the Dalmatian hinterland near the town of Imotski, this circular sinkhole is filled with crystal-clear blue water that reflects the surrounding rock walls and vegetation.

The contrast of the deep blue water against the stark white of the limestone creates a mesmerizing effect that draws visitors from around the world. Swimming in the cool, clear waters of the Eye is an incredible experience that feels like diving into another dimension.

Alpine Lake, Idaho, United States


Alpine Lake in Idaho is a stunning natural wonder that looks like a scene from a postcard. Located in the Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho, this pristine lake is surrounded by towering peaks and lush forests, creating a breathtaking landscape that seems too perfect to be real.

The crystal-clear waters of the lake reflect the sky and mountains above, creating a mirror-like surface that is both serene and mesmerizing. Hiking around the lake and taking in the incredible views is an experience that will stay with you long after you leave this incredible place.

Socotra, Yemen

Socotra Island in Yemen is a unique and otherworldly destination that looks like something out of a science fiction novel. Located in the Arabian Sea, this remote island is home to an incredible array of endemic plant and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth.

The most famous of these are the dragon blood trees, which have a distinctive umbrella-shaped canopy and red sap that looks like blood. The rugged landscape of the island, with its towering cliffs, sandy beaches, and mysterious caves, creates a sense of adventure and wonder that draws intrepid travelers from around the world.

Mount Roraima, Canaima National Park, Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela

Mount Roraima is a stunning tabletop mountain located at the junction of Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela. These mountains are considered to be the oldest geological formations on Earth, dating back over two billion years.

The sheer cliffs and flat top of Mount Roraima create a surreal and otherworldly landscape that looks like something out of a fantasy novel. The unique ecosystem of the mountain, with its endemic plant and animal species, is a testament to the incredible diversity and resilience of life on Earth.

Hiking to the top of Mount Roraima is a challenging but rewarding experience that offers breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment that will stay with you forever.

Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland

In Iceland, there is a remarkable place where vibrant green fields, a striking yellow river, a black sand beach, and the deep blue ocean converge, creating a stunning visual palette that seems almost too perfect to be real.

This incredible landscape is a testament to the raw beauty and power of nature, with each element adding its own unique character and energy to the scene. The bright green of the fields contrasts with the rich yellow of the river, while the stark black of the beach and the deep blue of the ocean create a sense of depth and mystery.

Standing at the point where these four elements meet is an unforgettable experience that reminds us of the incredible diversity and wonder of the natural world.

The Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

The Tunnel of Love in Ukraine is a stunning example of nature’s ability to create beauty in unexpected places. This lush green tunnel, located near the town of Klevan, is formed by the interlocking branches of trees growing along an old railway line.

The dense foliage creates a romantic and enchanting atmosphere, with sunlight filtering through the leaves and casting dappled shadows on the ground. Walking hand in hand with a loved one through this incredible natural wonder is an experience that will create memories to last a lifetime.

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