Top 10 Unique Places and Bizarre Landmarks
The world is full of marvelous landmarks and strange destinations. People like to visit places that are cloaked in mystery and controversy. We are attracted to areas that are unique and hold historical significance. Certain places are riddled with bizarre stories, out-of-place artifacts and unexplained natural phenomenon. In other cases, architectural feats have given rare experiences. The landscape of Earth has provided a number of unique locations and bizarre destinations. This article will examine ten places that have an intriguing history.
10. Blue Hole
Directions: Monroe Township, New Jersey. Enter Winslow Wildlife Management Area via Piney Hollow Road.
The Blue Hole is located next to the Great Egg Harbor River, 1 mile walk.
In the Pinelands of New Jersey, United States, sits a mysterious blue body of water. The Blue Hole is approximately 70 feet (21 m) wide and circular in shape. The color of the water is extremely unusual for this part of New Jersey. Most lakes and ponds in the Pinelands are brownish in color due to the large deposits of bog iron and the presence of tannic acid. In the 1930s, the Blue Hole was a popular party and swimming spot. In the 1960s, the area was abandoned after a storm destroyed a bridge leading to the hole. Many legends have been told about the Blue Hole. The water is said to be 58 degrees Fahrenheit all year long.
People don't like to swim in the Blue Hole. Powerful currents and whirlpools have been reported. For generations, unidentified flying objects, demons, and the Jersey Devil has been sighted near the water. Farmers and families in the area have instructed their children against swimming in the Blue Hole. The water is surrounded by a sandy substance that is similar to quicksand. It is located in the vicinity of a shooting range and has extremely clear water. The Blue Hold doesn't freeze in the winter and the bottom of the lake has never been reached. Studies have been conducted in order to help explain the strange occurrence of the blue water, but no single hypothesis has been accepted.
9. Cerne Abbas Giant
Directions: Take the A37 north from Dorchester and then the A352 through Charminster. This road continues
to Goldmanstone and other small villages until you reach Cerne Abbas. The viewing point for the Giant is off the A352 just
north of Cerne Abbas. Starting at the car park there is a circular walk that follows a footpath to the Benedictine Cerne
Abbey, 2.2 miles (3.5 km).
The Cerne Abbas Giant is a hill figure located near the village of Cerne Abbas, in Dorset, England. The figure shows a naked man and is 180 ft (55 m) tall by 167 ft (51 m) wide. It is carved into the side of a steep hill and formed by a trench that is 12 in (30 cm) wide. The Cerne Abbas Giant is right-handed and has a large club that is 120 ft (37 m) in length. The origin of the figure is unknown, but the land surrounding the artwork has a long history. The first description of the giant appeared in 1694. During World War II, the figure was hidden in order to prevent attack. Stories from the area say that the giant is the outline of an ancient man.
The mystery surrounding the Cerne Abbas Giant was increased in 2008 when a group of archaeologists discovered that parts of the carving had been tampered with. Many physical features of the artwork have been altered. The free arm of the giant was originally holding an animal's skin. The figure was also standing over a disembodied head. It has been suggested that the genitals of the giant were altered in order to create the large erection that is clearly visible today. This was accomplished by merging a circle representing the navel with a smaller penis. The giant remains an important part of the local English culture. The landmark often attracts couples who are looking for help with fertility.
8. Mojave Memorial Cross
Directions: The cross was placed on Sunrise Rock, adjacent to Cima Road about 12 miles south of Interstate
15, and 6 miles north of Cima, California. The trailhead leading to Teutonia Peak is immediately across the road from the
In 1934, a Latin memorial cross was erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars to honor soldiers killed in World War I. It was placed on Sunrise Rock, which is a granite outcropping. The cross is maintained by volunteers and has been reconstructed several times after being vandalized and destroyed. The area surrounding the Mojave Memorial Cross is a gathering place for Easter and other Christian religious services. In 2001, a man named Frank Buono filed suit against the U.S. Secretary of the Department stating that the Mojave Memorial Cross violates the United States Establishment Clause. Buono received help from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU felt the landmark was unconstitutional because it supported and preached religion ideas on public land.
On April 28, 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Mojave Memorial Cross will not be moved. The case was sent back to a lower court. It was found that the cross is not in violation of the separation of church and state. On May 9, 2010, the Mojave Memorial Cross was stolen. The U.S. National Park Service has offered a $125,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves. In response, the Veterans of Foreign Wars have vowed to rebuild the memorial. "This was a legal fight that a vandal just made personal to 50 million veterans, military personnel and their families." A replica statue has been constructed, but the Mojave National Park will not allow it to be raised. Park officials have ruled that the original statue must be recovered with no replacement being accepted.
7. Skinwalker Ranch
Directions: Located near the village of Roosevelt in the Uintah Basin of Utah, bordering the Ute Indian
Reservation. Many areas of the property are blocked off and impossible to access.
The Skinwalker Ranch is a mysterious place. The ranch covers approximately 480 acres (1.9 km2) of land southeast of Ballard, Utah. The name of the settlement was taken from the skin-walker legend of Native American history. A skin-walker is a person with supernatural ability. For generations, the Skinwalker Ranch has been at the center of UFO reports and paranormal activity. The media became aware of the area after the Las Vegas Mercury magazine ran a series of articles by journalist George Knapp. Knapp's interest was sparked by the fact that the National Institute for Discovery Science had purchased the land. The NIDSci was a privately financed research organization that studied paranormal topics and ufology.
For over 60 years, the Skinwalker Ranch has been a hotspot for UFO encounters, Bigfoot sightings, crop circles, glowing orbs, and poltergeist activity. The area is known for cattle mutilation and livestock disappearances. People have reported alien encounters, flocks of red birds and wolf-like beasts. Some have described portals in the sky. The nearby Bottle Hollow Lake has been the location for a number of bizarre sightings. People have described balls of light entering and exiting the water. Some have heard underground noises on the Skinwalker Ranch. The sounds have been described as working machinery. Today, the ranch is privately owned, but people still frequent the area.
6. The Grave of Tsewang Paljor
Directions: A small cave located 27,890 feet (8500 m) up the northeast section of Mount Everest in
Nepal at the Mahalangur section of the Himalaya.
On May 11, 1996, eight people died while attempting to summit Mount Everest. One of these individuals was a man named Tsewang Paljor. Paljor was part of an Indian climbing team that was attempting to become the first Indian team to scale the Northeast route of Everest. On May 11, the team got caught in a deadly blizzard short of the summit. Some of the men turned back, while others, including Tsewang Paljor, decided to continue towards the top of the mountain. After reaching the summit, Tsewang Paljor was caught in a violent snow storm. He took refuge in a small cave located 27,890 feet (8 500 m) above sea level.
Paljor was unable to survive the night and eventually succumbed to the mountain. His body was left in the freezing cave. Over the years, Tsewang Paljor's grave has become a popular destination for climbers scaling Everest. His corpse has become known as Green Boots, because Paljor was wearing green boots when he passed. The boots are still visible on his body and the cave has become a common resting point. The site of Tsewang Paljor's grave is located in one of the most extreme environments on Earth. Those who have visited the area should feel a sense of accomplishment. A British climber named Ian Woodall plans to visit Everest in 2011 and remove the body of Green Boots.
5. Lake Peigneur
Directions: Located 1.2 miles (1.9 km) north of Delcambre, Louisiana, and 9.1 miles (14.6 km) west
of New Iberia, near the northernmost tip of Vermilion Bay.
One of the biggest oil rig disasters of the 20th century occurred on Lake Peigneur. Lake Peigneur was a 10-foot (3 m) deep freshwater lake located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. On November 20, 1980, a Texaco oil rig disaster happened on the lake. It is unclear exactly how the error occurred, but the company managed to miscalculate their drilling depth and location. The oil rig pierced the top wall of salt mines located under the lake. The event started a chain reaction that altered the flow of Lake Peigneur. After the accident occurred, a huge maelstrom was formed. A maelstrom is a very powerful whirlpool.
The whirlpool swallowed the drilling platform, eleven barges, thousands of trees and 65 acres (260,000 m2) of the surrounding terrain. After three hours, the entire 3.5 billion gallons of freshwater located in the lake drained into the mine. So much water passed into the caverns that the flow of the Delcambre Canal was reversed, creating a temporary inlet. The backflow formed, for a few days, the tallest waterfall ever recorded in the state of Louisiana. It was measured at 164 feet (50 m) tall, and was created when the lake was refilling with salt water from the Delcambre Canal and Vermilion Bay. The disaster caused a collection of 400-foot (120 m) tall geysers. Nobody was injured or killed in the maelstrom. However, the freshwater ecosystem of Lake Peigneur was permanently destroyed. It has since been replaced with a salt water environment.
4. Bridgewater Triangle
Directions: Located 30 miles south of Boston. The point of the triangle encompasses the towns of Abington,
Brockton, Rehoboth and Freetown. Areas falling inside the Bridgewater Triangle include Norton, Bridgewater, West Bridgewater,
Middleboro, Dighton, Berkley, Raynham, Easton, Lakeville, Seekonk, and Taunton, Massachusetts.
The Bridgewater Triangle is a 200 square miles (520 km2) area in southeastern Massachusetts. For hundreds of years the site has been a hotspot for alleged paranormal phenomena. Reports have included UFO activity, black helicopter sightings, poltergeists, orbs, balls of fire, Bigfoot encounters, giant snakes, thunderbirds, and livestock mutilation. The first UFO sighting over Bridgewater occurred in 1760. It was described as a "sphere of fire" that cast shadows in broad daylight. In recent history, reports of secret military activity and unmarked vehicles have been escalating. A collection of unusual historic landmarks exist in the Bridgewater Triangle.
Central to the area is the largely untouched Hockomock Swamp, which means "the place where spirits dwell." Hockomock Swamp is a vast wetland that holds 6,000-acres (24 km2) of land in southeastern Massachusetts. During the 17th century, the Hockomock Swamp was used as a fortress by the Wampanoag, who was the predominating tribe of natives in the area. The swamp played an important role in King Philip's War and was used as a strategic base of operations. Also found within the boundaries of the Bridgewater Triangle is the Dighton Rock. The Dighton Rock is a 40-ton boulder which is noted for its petroglyphs and carved designs. The rock has been the source of great controversy. It contains a number of unexplained inscriptions. Many languages can be found on the rock, including that of the Vikings, Portuguese and Phoenicians.
Another area of unusual activity within the Bridgewater Triangle is the Freetown-Fall River State Forest. The forest was purchased from the Wampanoag Tribe in 1659. Throughout history, Native American cultures have described an evil force within the forest. The Freetown State Forest has reportedly been the site of cult activity. This includes animal sacrifice, ritualistic murders, gangland crime and a high number of suicides. For decades people have reported giant birds and flying creatures with a wingspan of 8-12 feet (2.4-3.6 m) in Hockomock Swamp and the neighboring town of Taunton. In the 1980s, an underground bunker was discovered in the forest. After examining the scene, police found strange objects at the location, including small chairs with restraints, seemingly made for children.
3. Der Eiserne Mann
Directions: Located two kilometers north-east of the village Dunstekoven in the German national forest
of Naturpark Kottenforst-Ville. Dunstekoven is a small farming village in the municipality Swisttal in the North-Rhine-Westphalian
Rhein-Sieg district. It is situated approximately 20 km west of Bonn.
Der Eiserne Mann (The Iron Man) is an old iron pillar partially buried in the ground. It is located in the German national forest of Naturpark Kottenforst-Ville. The shape of the iron pillar is roughly square and it extends 1.47 m (4.8 feet) above ground and approximately 2.7 m (8.8 feet) below ground. The pillar is unique to Central Europe, and is alleged to be an out-of-place artifact. Eiserner Mann is located in an area that was a converging point for ancient forest pathways. The pillar was first mentioned in a 17th century document, where it was used as a village boundary marker. Evidence has been uncovered that suggests the iron pillar was constructed during the 13th century.
People have claimed that Eiserner Mann was made with an unknown metal. Over the years, the pillar has showed no signs of rust. This is odd because modern day iron products always rust. To add fuel to the fire, strange sounds and lights have been reported by travelers who visit the forest at night. Eiserner Mann is a popular destination for hikers and often acts as a meeting place for gatherings. The legend of the iron pillar has spawned speculation that the item was constructed by extraterrestrials. Many people have formed comparisons between Eiserner Mann and the Wolfsegg Iron. The Wolfsegg Iron is a small cuboid mass of iron that was discovered buried in Tertiary lignite in Wolfsegg, Austria. Similar to the pillar, the Wolfsegg Iron will not rust. The texture of the two artifacts is similar in look and feel.
2. Caminito del Rey
Directions: Located in El Chorro, near Alora in the province of Malaga. Caminito del Rey is within
the Gorge of Gaitanes in Andalucia, the southernmost province of Spain. The closest settlement is the village of Bermejo.
El Caminito del Rey is a walkway pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Alora in the province of Malaga, Spain. In 1901, the pathway was constructed to help transport heavy material between the Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls hydroelectric power plants. It was completed in 1905. Caminito del Ray is one meter (3 feet and 3 inches) wide, and rises 100 meters (350 feet) above the river below. In 1921, King Alfonso XIII crossed the pathway for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce. Since that time, Caminito del Rey has fallen into disrepair. The walkway is currently in bad shape with many construction problems.
It has sections that have collapsed and the handrails are completely broken. For safety, Caminito del Rey has a wire that runs the length of the walkway. Several people have died on the pathway in recent years. After two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, both entrances were closed. However, the walkway remains a popular climbing destination for extreme athletes. In June of 2011, the regional government of Andalusia and the local government of Malaga agreed to restore Caminito del Rey. This includes the construction of a new parking garage and museum. The project will take approximately three years to complete. It will include the original features of the walkway. Caminito del Ray has gained notoriety for a six minute viral video.
Directions: Located 25 kilometers from the city of Stavanger, in southern Norway. The Pulpit Rock
is in Forsand and the parking facility is found at Preikestolhytta. It takes about 3-4 hours for a round trip hike.
Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock is a massive cliff located above Lysefjorden, opposite the Kjerag plateau in Norway. Lysefjorden is a fjord (a narrow inlet with steep cliffs) located in Forsand in Ryfylke. Preikestolen is located 604 meters (1982 feet) above the water. The top of the cliff is very small, approximately 25 by 25 meters (82 by 82 feet) square and almost flat. Preikestolen is a popular tourist destination. The cliff can be found after a 3.8 km (2.4 mi.) hike. The walk to Preikestolen can be steep in places. The pathway climbs and descends over ridges.
During the summer months, an alternative trip to Preikestolen is available. A ferry travels beneath Pulpit Rock through the Lysefjorden. Despite the dangerous conditions, no safety railing has been constructed on the edge of the cliff. Like so many tall cliffs, Preikestolen has become a popular destination for base jumping. It has gained a reputation for suicide. Norway is home to many massive rock structures and cliffs. Trolltunga is a famous rock that stands horizontally out of the mountain above Skjeggedal in Odda. Trolltunga gives a marvelous view of the Skjeggedal Valley.