Mystical Landscapes: 30 Strange and Unusual Destinations

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1Calexico

Calexico

On the California side of the US-Mexico border, there's a town called Calexico, and on the opposite side, there's a town called Mexicali.


2. In 2007, a meteorite crashed near the village of Carancas in Peru, close to the Bolivian border. Following the impact, locals in the area grew sick from an unexplained illness. It turned out that the meteorite had evaporated arsenic contaminated groundwater which led to widespread arsenic poisoning.


3. In 1999, a 9.3 miles by 17.4 miles geoglyph with 100 feet wide outlines depicting an indigenous man was discovered from the air by a charter pilot in the remote Australian outback. A plaque of an American flag was found buried 5 feet under the nose of the figure. Its origin remains a mystery with no known witnesses to its creation.


4. The "town" of Monowi, Nebraska has a population of 1. Elsie Eiler, in her capacity as Mayor, grants herself a liquor license and pays taxes to herself.


5. There is an underground city in Australia called Coober Pedy and it is known as the "Opal Capital of the World." It has two churches, a bar, a single entrance and a population of over 1,600 people. People live in underground "dugouts" or homes built into the hills to escape extreme heat of up to 47 degree Celsius (116 degrees Fahrenheit).


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6Magic Roundabout

Magic Roundabout

The Magic Roundabout in Swindon, England is the world’s most complex intersection. It has five separate smaller roundabouts supporting clockwise traffic, all situated around one larger central roundabout that runs counterclockwise.


7. Spite Houses are impractical and often uninhabited buildings that people construct for the sole purpose of irritating their neighbors. For Example, in 1882, a house, 5 feet wide, 4 stories high and 104 feet in length was erected on Lexington Ave, New York City to “spite” the neighbor, and block his views.


8. The exclave of Point Roberts, Washington is accessible only by driving through Canada. It is a popular destination for people in the US Witness Relocation Program since it is effectively off-limits to US citizens who can’t get passports.


9. The town of Blowout, Texas, got its name when lightning struck a cave and ignited thousands of tons of ammonia-rich bat poop inside it.


10. Every year in the Greek town of Vrontados, two rival church congregations perform a "Rocket War" by firing tens of thousands of home-made rockets across town, with the objective of hitting the bell tower of the church of the other side.


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11Mojave phone booth

Mojave phone booth

The Mojave phone booth was a public phone booth that stood for several years in the middle of a desert, miles away from any roads or other structures. It was demolished in 2000 because it became famous on the internet and thousands of people were visiting it, impacting the surrounding environment in the national preserve.


12. There is a waterfall called The Devil's Kettle in a state park of Minnesota. The waterfall remains a mystery to scientists because the western half of the water flows into a pothole; however, every attempt to trace the path of this half of the river once the water has gone into the pothole has failed.


13. The Icelandic Phallological Museum in Reykjavik, Iceland is solely devoted to the collection of penis specimens and penis-related art. It features 280 penises from 93 species of animals, including whales, humans, and (allegedly) trolls.


14. Baarle-Hertog and Baarle-Nassau are two municipalities in Belgium and Netherlands that have complicated borders which have resulted in 23 pieces of enclaves and counter-enclaves. The border is made visible on all of the town's streets to make it clear which side one is in.


15. In 1962, a fire which started in a landfill in Centralia, Pennsylvania ignited an underground vein of hard coal. The bustling town turned into a ghost town due to the massive underground inferno that has been burning since. The fire is expected to burn for at least another 250 years.


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16Mountains of Kong

Mountains of Kong

West African mountain range named the Mountains of Kong was charted on maps for nearly a hundred years. It was later discovered that the mountains never existed and were made up by the original cartographer.


17. The Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand is the world's steepest street. At its maximum slope, it measures 19° or 35%. The street holds a yearly event which involves rolling 30,000 Jaffas (Australian chocolate) down the street.


18. The village of Giethoorn in the Netherlands has no roads. People get around on foot or via one of the village's many canals


19. More people have died climbing Table Mountain (3,500 feet) in Cape Town than have been killed by Everest (29,000 feet). Poor planning, dehydration and even losing concentration while taking selfies are to blame.


20. The city of Whittier in Alaska has a population of 214 people, almost all of whom live in a single building. The building has a school, hospital, church, and grocery store.


21Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

Sarah Winchester, the widow of the founder of Winchester Company, built a confusing mansion to ward off the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles. At its zenith, the house consisted of over 200 rooms, 10,000 windows, 47 fireplaces, 2,000 doors, several trapdoors, and multiple spy holes.


22. The Sedlec Ossuary is a church in Prague that is made up of the bones of over 70,000 plague victims in various forms of decor. Only theories surround the method of this madness.


23. Chile has a civilian town named Villa Las Estrellas in Antarctica. The town has a maximum population of 150 people in the summer and it has a school, hospital, hostel, post office, internet, TV and mobile phone coverage.


24. Agloe, New York was an imaginary town that became real. Created on a 1937 map as a copyright trap (a fake location used to fool others copying the map), a visitor decided to open a store. Agloe became a real (if very small) location for 40 years, but the store closed and Agloe is now dead.


25. A century after Upton Sinclair first wrote about it in THE JUNGLE, “Bubbly Creek” in Chicago still has gases bubbling out of the riverbed from the decomposition of blood and entrails dumped into the river in the early 20th century by the local meatpacking businesses.

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