North Yungas Road, Bolivia
The path from La Paz to Coroico, Bolivia, is a treacherous one: The North Yungas Road weaves precariously through the Amazon rainforest at a height of more than 15,000 feet. this 50-mile stretch of highway has earned the nickname “The Death Road.” While the North Yungas Road used to see some 200 to 300 annual deaths.
Nagoro is a tiny Japanese village with one very notable feature: a life-sized doll population that outnumbers the human population nearly 10:1. The toy residents are the work of local Tsukimi Ayano, who began making doll replicas of her neighbors after they died or moved away.
Hill of Crosses, Šiauliai, Lithuania
People have been placing crosses on this hill in northern Lithuania since the 14th century. The crosses were used in the medieval period as a desire for the Lithuanian independence. Then, after a peasant uprising in 1831, people began adding to the site in remembrance of dead rebels. The hill became a place of defiance once again during Soviet occupation from 1944 to 1991.
Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico
Hidden among the boroughs’s many canals, the tiny island is famous for the hundreds of dolls—and doll parts—hanging from trees and scattered among the grass.
Taylor Glacier, Antarctica
The five-story, crimson waterfall of Taylor Glacier, also known as the “Blood Falls” is a completely natural wonder. The glacier was sealed of and isolated from light and oxygen, about five million years earlier. The water became more and more concentrated, both in terms of salt and iron content.
In 1962, a mine mysteriously caught fire, the flames began to spread underground via the interconnecting tunnels. Although the citizens were aware of the situation, they weren’t truly troubled until two isolated incidents some years later. Since those disturbing occurrences, the town’s population decreased sharply.
Beelitz-Heilstätten Hospital, Germany
Around1898 and 1930, the Beelitz-Heilstätten complex (a 50-minute drive south of Berlin) served as a tuberculosis sanatorium. It also housed mustard gas and machine gun victims during World War I, including the notorious Adolf Hitler, who had been wounded in the leg. The hospital later went on to be a major treatment center for Nazi soldiers during World War II. Today, a few hospital wards are used as a neurological rehabilitation center, although the majority of the complex is abandoned.
Gomantong Caves, Sabah, Malaysia
Gomantong is home to more than two million bats, which leads to impossibly thick layers of guano- bat poop covering the ground. If you can make it through the river of bat droppings, you’ll then encounter several million Malaysian cockroaches scurrying around. Finally, if you get past the bat smells and cockroaches crawling up your legs, there are several other creatures here including snakes, scorpions, freshwater crabs, and the infamous giant scutigera centipedes—poisonous critters.
Christ of the Abyss, San Fruttuoso, Italy
The original version of the Jesus statue, is located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of San Fruttuoso. It was commissioned by Italian diver Duilio Marcante in 1952. The algae and corrosion only add to the effect.
It was established in 1970, the city had reached a population of nearly 50,000 by the time it was entirely evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Of recent, following the airing of HBO’s Chernobyl series, Ukraine’s government has announced that the site will become an official tourist attraction.
Kawah Ijen Volcano, Java, Indonesia
The gases from the volcano, sometimes condense into liquid sulfur, which then takes on an otherworldly shade of blue and flows down the like lava. Kawah Ijen’s sulfur burns at all hours. As a result, the surrounding air is filled with sulfur dioxide, and the adjacent crater lake has turned green from hydrochloric acid saturation.
The Great Blue Hole, Belize
Meet the Great Blue Hole, a 1,000-foot-wide, perfectly circular sinkhole in the middle of the atoll. The further down divers go, the clearer and more beautiful the rock formations supposedly become.
Aokigahara Forest, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
Also known as the “Suicide Forest,” Aokigahara is the world’s second-most popular site for suicides (after the Golden Gate Bridge)—in 2010 alone, 247 people attempted to take their own lives here, and 54 of them were successful. Some blame this phenomena on the forest’s association with demons in Japanese mythology.