40 unique natural wonders of the world (36 – 40)

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36. Sistema Zacaton

Poza del Zacatón
Poza del Zacatón / Comisión Mexicana de Filmaciones, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Where?North America, Mexico
Why unique?Unique system of numerous sinkholes which are up to 339 m deep. These weird holes were created by thermal acidic waters from the bottom up. Some sinkholes have sealed up in natural way and possibly contain unique organisms. Other sinkholes have floating islands which gradually increase their size, forming the “lids”.

37. Vailulu’u Eel City and Moat of Death

Dysommina rugosa eels in Nafanua Eel City, American Samoa
Dysommina rugosa eels in Nafanua Eel City / / public domain.
Where?Oceania, American Samoa
Why unique?Submarine mountain – volcano which is quickly rising towards the surface of ocean. Countless eels live in an unusual, unique colony near the summit of Vailulu’u. Around the base of the mountain has formed a zone of toxic fluids – “Moat of Death”.

38. Vallée de Mai

Vallée de Mai, Seychelles
Vallée de Mai / Reed Wiedower, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Where?Africa, Seychelles
Why unique?Unique forest – a relict, descendant of the primeval forests of Gondwana continent. The only natural forest of coco de mer – a palm with the world’s largest seeds.

39. Wachsender Felsen of Usterling

Usterling Growing Rock, Bavaria
Usterling Growing Rock / Edl, Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Where?Europe, Germany
Why unique?Natural, up to 5.4 m tall stone wall with a stream of fresh spring water flowing along its upper rim. Wall is 37 m long. Humans have helped the nature to create it by cleaning the stream from fallen branches, leaves, grass.

40. Yungay

Landscape near Antofagasta, not too far from Yungay, Chile
Landscape near Antofagasta, not too far from Yungay / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Where?South America, Chile
Why unique?Almost lifeless place due to extreme dryness. Only recently here were discovered some microorganisms. As a result here have formed rich nitrate deposits (up to 5 m thick) deposited by atmosphere and, contrary to other places of the world, not consumed by microorganisms.
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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

Unusual sinkholes

Some sinkholes – giant holes of collapsed cave rooms – sometimes are just beyond unusual. For example, a heroe of multiple Pinterest reposts and desired travel destination is Great Blue Hole (Belize) – 124 m deep, perfectly round hole in a coral reef, which has some rather mysterious aspects – f.e. – how it was created? Nevertheless it is not unique – there are several more such holes in Australia, China and elsewhere.

Great Blue Hole, Belize
Great Blue Hole / Eric Pheterson, / CC BY 2.0
Not less impressive is Cenote Angelita in Mexico. Here, at the depth of some 30 meters, is a layer of thick, weird “fog”. One can dive through it – and below this “fog” the water is clear again. But also Cenote Angelita is not unique in this – in reality, there are hundreds of sinkholes with similar “effects”. The vertical form of sinkhole prevents the mixing of different layers of water and on the border of different water layers often are forming “clouds” of microorganisms.
Diving in Cenote Angelita
Diving in Cenote Angelita / AB TV, sdcreenshot from Youtube video
The giant sinkholes of China (tiankengs) and Papua New Guinea often are like small worlds – with unique forests on their floor, rivers flowing from one side to another and even clouds (and sometimes even local rain!) inside the sinkholes.

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