40 unique natural wonders of the world (1 – 5)

Cave of the Crystals, Mexico
Cave of the Crystals / Alexander Van Driessche, / free for use
There are places on Earth which are unique – the absolute natural wonders of the world.

Wondermondo also has made a unique thing: it is this article, which lists 40 such places – unusual locations with natural phenomena which are not found anywhere else. Places come simply in alphabetic order. Enjoy!

1. Abanda Caves

Crocodile in Abanda Caves
The unique crocodile of Abanda Caves / Abanda Expeditions / ©
Where?Africa, Gabon
Why unique?The only place in the world with a permanent population of cave crocodiles. These dwarf crocodiles Osteolaemus tetraspis are turning into a new species, are almost blind and eat bats.

2. Aldabra – realm of giant tortoises

Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles
Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles / Simisa, Flickr, CC BY -SA 3.0
Where?Africa, Seychelles
Why unique?The only ecosystem in the world which is ruled by tortoises. Here live more than 1000 thousand giant tortoises who are at the top of food chain. Besides, on the island live some 400 species of animals and plants, which are not found anywhere else in the world.

3. Black Hole of Andros

Cross section of South Andros Black Hole in south - north direction, compared with Boeing 747-400
Cross section of South Andros Black Hole in south – north direction, compared with Boeing 747-400 / Gatis Pāvils, basing on S.Schwabe, R.A.Herbert, 2005, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Where?North America, Bahamas
Why unique?Round holes with unusually black water, found only on South Andros and Grand Bahama islands. Their water is crystal clear but at the depth of some 17 m there is a layer of hot, pink jelly – colony of microorganisms. Most unique aspect – microorganisms have heated the water to temperatures up to 40°C – possibly the only place on Earth where microorganisms have heated the water. Below the layer of bacteria water is clear and colder again.

4. Blood Falls, Antarctica

Blood Falls from above, Antarctica
Blood Falls from above / Peter Rejcek, National Science Foundation (United States Antarctic Program), public domain
Where?Antarctica, Victoria Land
Why unique?This red-colored, approximately 14 m tall “icefall” is opening into unusual ecosystem which for more than one million years has developed in saline lake below the Taylor Glacier. Microorganisms have adapted here to life without light, feeding on sulfates and “breathing” ions of iron.

5. Blue garnets of Bekily

Bekily blue garnet
Bekily blue garnet / MoreGems.com, screenshot fromYoutube video
Where?Africa, Madagascar
Why unique?The only known place on planet where in larger amounts are found blue garnets. In fact – until 1997 it was considered that there are no blue garnets in the world. These unique stones in artificial light change to bright purple. It is possible that the find has been exhausted.
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Map, 40 unique natural wonders of the world

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Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel: 4.685500, -64.218500
Sistema Zacaton: 22.995108, -98.164583
Catatumbo Lightning: 8.931131, -72.162824
Morning Glory of Carpentaria Gulf: -17.740678, 139.547441
Yungay - the driest place in the world: -24.065631, -69.863882
Christmas Island subtropical forest and red crabs: -10.485014, 105.642492
Dallol hot springs and geysers: 14.237118, 40.297959
Vailulu\'u Eel City and Moat of Death: -14.215568, -169.058455
Forest on Robinson Crusoe Island: -33.651420, -78.823218
Moconá Falls (Yucumã Falls): -27.149555, -53.887733
Forest of daisy trees in Santa Cruz: -0.625712, -90.391116
Vallée de Mai: -4.331052, 55.737449
Blood Falls, Antarctica: -77.720735, 162.261887
Rokeb di Firmihin: 12.480190, 54.014032
North-West Eifuku Champagne Vent: 21.489573, 144.038172
Daallo Frankincense Forest: 10.788524, 47.266641
Cave of the Crystals, Naica: 27.851483, -105.510956
Jellyfish Lake: 7.161110, 134.376290
Black Hole of Andros: 23.975677, -77.702122
Lake Tele: 1.345011, 17.150366
Caño Cristales: 2.264165, -73.794515
Lake Bonney: -77.716908, 162.399789
Usterling Growing Rock (Johannisfelsen): 48.662246, 12.648607
Daikoku Sulfur Cauldron: 21.324317, 144.193789
Oklo Mines: -1.400021, 13.160274
Ikaite tufa columns in Ikka Fjord: 61.191163, -48.027942
Patomskiy Crater: 59.284685, 116.589299
Ol Doinyo Lengai: -2.759612, 35.914042
Abanda Caves - caves of unique bat-eating crocodiles: -1.444192, 9.699241
Liang Bua: -8.530869, 120.443400
Kelimutu lakes: -8.767335, 121.817027
Aldabra: -9.418546, 46.343564
Lord Howe Island: -31.552251, 159.078896
Kitum Cave: 1.027796, 34.754435
Goualougo Triangle: 2.141059, 16.494583
Chocolate Hills: 9.798233, 124.168465
Blue garnets of Behily: -24.257679, 45.401682
Hypersaline lakes beneath the Devon Ice Cap: 75.319816, -82.883638
Sireneviy Kamen - the only find of charoite: 58.342442, 119.092417
Merelani Hills - the only find of tanzanite: -3.560646, 37.028096

Unique waterfalls

Some of the most beloved natural landmarks are waterfalls – each of them is beautiful. Sometimes though waterfalls are very unusual:

Glow of Horsetail Fall in Yosemite Valley, California
Glow of Horsetail Fall in Yosemite Valley / E. Howe, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Vrtiglavica waterfall in Slovenia is very, very tall! The water here falls freely through the air for some 400 – 440 meters! But only a handful of people have seen it with their eyes because… this waterfall is inside a cave!
  • Too few know about Khone Falls in Laos. But… this could be the widest waterfall in the world, with a total width of 10.8 kilometers! Waterfall has formed on Mekong River and is interrupted by numerous islands.
  • Horsetail Fall in Yosemite Valley, United States has its own “trick” – for a few days in February it shines in the light of the setting Sun and then it looks like the waterfall itself is emitting an eerie light!
  • The most impressive icefall in the world could be Airdevronsix icefalls in Antarctica. It is some 5 kilometers wide and 400 m tall. Want to see it all? Just walk “a bit” – it can be well observed from a distance of 17 kilometers!
The fantastic Airdevronsix icefall from 17.5 km distance, Antarctica
The fantastic Airdevronsix icefall from 17.5 km distance! Warren icefall is seen in the left side / P.Wright, US Geological Survey, public domain


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