40 unique natural wonders of the world (31 – 35)

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31. Ol Doinyo Lengai

Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania
Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania / Michael Rückl, / CC BY-SA 3.0
Where? Africa, Tanzania
Why unique? The only volcano in the world which is erupting carbonatite lava. This is very unusual place without analogues elsewhere in the world. Shortly after the eruption lava turns snow-white but in a few months time it becomes soft. Lava consists of very rare, nearly unique minerals.

32. Patomskiy Crater

Patomskiy Crater, Russia
Patomskiy Crater / Комсомольская Правда, screenshot from Youtube video
Where? Asia, Russia (Irkutsk Oblast)
Why unique? Mysterious crater in remote part of Siberia. It is not clear how it formed, but it happened some 500 years ago. It is possible that here happened some kind of gaseous eruption. Site of exotic legends, purported evil place.

33. Rokeb di Firmihin

Dragon's Blood Trees, Soqatra
Dragon’s Blood Trees. (possibly taken outside Rokeb di Firmihin) / Rod Waddington, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Where? Asia, Yemen (Socotra)
Why unique? The last forest of Dragon’s Blood Trees (Dracaena cinnabari) – legendary trees which look as if they arrived from another planet. In this forest live several species of plants and animals which are not met anywhere else in the world.

34. Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel

Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel, sinkholes in Venezuela
Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel, sinkholes in Venezuela / Luis Ruiz Berti, public domain
Where? South America, Venezuela
Why unique? The largest sinkholes in quartzite, formed over hundreds of millions of years. Sinkholes have formed on the only tepui (table-mountain) which is covered with rainforest and as a result on the bottom of these giant holes (up to 314 m deep!) grows unique forest.

35. Sireneviy Kamen

Charoitite - rock which consists mainly from charoite
Charoitite – rock which consists mainly from charoite / James St. John, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
Where? Asia, Russia (Sakha Republic, Irkutsk Oblast)
Why unique? The only find of a mineral of unusual beauty – charoite. In this area have been found some 200 minerals, many – rare and even unique. It is allowed to mine only 100 tons of charoite per year.
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Map, 40 unique natural wonders of the world

Unusual volcanoes

Quite a few of more than 1,500 volcanoes of Earth are unusual. In fact, most of them have some specific features making them worthy to be included in Wondermondo’s lists.

But some are more unusual than others. Thus, some 7 – 10 volcanoes of the world have such peculiarity as more or less permanent lava lakes. These lakes of molten stone make each of them unique… almost unique and definitely – spectacular.

Erta Ale lava lake, Ethiopia
Erta Ale lava lake, Ethiopia / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Some volcanoes have lakes of acid in their craters. In these lakes, the rainwater is acidified by a constant flow of sulfurous fumaroles – and as a result here forms almost clear sulfuric acid. Such lakes have a weird color – nearly white, bright green or unusually blue.

Laguna Caliente in Poás crater in white color
Laguna Caliente in Poás crater in white color / Richie Diesterheft, Flickr. CC BY 2.0

Another beautiful and nearly unique phenomena is the blue flames of Kawah Ijen (Indonesia) – here burns the sulfur while new supplies of sulfur are delivered by powerful fumaroles every day.

The blue fire of Kawah Ijen, Indonesia
The blue fire of Kawah Ijen / Dodi Mulyana, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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