You would think in the age of the internet that most people are aware of what the world has to offer and that no corners of the globe that have been unturned in a search for the spectacular but sometimes, there are sights in this world that are so mind-bendingly trippy that you can't believe they are real unless you see them with your own two eyes.
The USA alone has several places like this and, although we appreciate the internet can only do them a fraction of the justice they deserve, here we chronicle some of these amazing sights.
1. Mendenhall Glacier Ice Cave - Alaska
Part of the allure of this stunning place is its remoteness as you can only get to it by kayaking toward a wall of ice which then must be climbed and only then can you enter this cave of bubbles blue ice that surrounds you in a stunning vista. Formed by a partially hollowed out glacier, this cave is a sign of our rapidly changing climate.
Stunning, terrifying and unbelievable all at once.
2. Grand Prismatic Spring - Wyoming
The largest hot spring in the USA, and third largest in the world, Grand Prismatic spring has mineral rich water that creates its vibrant blue that contrasts brilliantly with the different soil layers around it.
Situated in amongst the many awe-inspiring sights of Yellowstone National Park, this tops it all with its vivid colors capturing the eye and imagination.
3. The Wave - Arizona
Despite its rather liquid name, The Wave is a rather solid rock formation in Northern Arizona with undulating forms permeating throughout the rocks. A difficult hike is required to get to this spot and it is carefully monitored as a lottery system is put in place to allow people to go and see it.
The intersecting u-shaped troughs were formed in Navajo sandstone millions of years ago but remain as a site today.
4. Antelope Canyon - Arizona
Another stunning rock formation in Arizona is Antelope Canyon which has been formed by thousands of years of erosion mostly coming from the flash flooding that happens in the area. As the waters rush through the basin of the area, the dust and small stones it carries along with it cut into the rock that it whizzes past.
The various caverns and openings they have formed therefore have a sort of flowing feel to them as they open out.
5. Bonneville Salt Flats - Utah
Formerly Lake Bonneville, the water has now disappeared and all that is left is miles and miles of white salt lying atop an eerily flat landscape. The flats occasionally flood still from time to time but they now mostly lie dry which offer up a landscape devoid of life but that reflects they clear skies above them beautifully so that the horizon is lost and the sky blends with the Earth.
Whether looking at the stars at night or the sun during the day, it is an exhilarating experience to see them beneath your feet.
6. Hamilton Pool Preserve - Texas
A natural pool formed by an underground river thousands of years ago where the river collapsed and revealed this glistening pool where you can swim and bathe in its natural beauty and charm. Just 23 miles outside of Austin it is a tranquil refuge from both the glaring heat and the hustle and bustle of the city.
Surrounded by lush and verdant plant life as well it is a wonderful sight to behold.
7. The Banyan Tree - Hawaii
Received as a gift from missionaries in Idia, this tree was planted in Lahaina and since then it has grown to 60 feet tall from just the 8 it was at when first planted way back when in 1873.The tree is the largest of its kind in the whole of the country and has 16 trunks away from its main one.
Its canopy spreads over half an acre, it is often referred to as 'the tree of life'.
8. The Maze - Utah
Canyonlands Nation Park has some amazing scenery that draws upon its desert setting to create stunning views of the landscape that has been shaped and formed by the Colorado river running through it. Of the least accessible area of the park, the Maze is definitely the hardest to navigate, hence the name.
It is worth it, however, due to its rugged and wild nature making it all the more beautiful.
9. Kelso Dunes - California
The Mojave desert covers 47,000 square miles of land and is the driest desert in North America and that all adds to the creation of its unique landscapes. Head to the Kelso Dunes, the largest area of eolian sand deposits in the Mojave, and you will find mountainous deposits rising out of the ground.
These are ideal for sand boarding and off roading but just getting a look at them is a treat in itself.
10. Devil's Tower - Wyoming
America's first national monument, this rock structure towers over the surrounding landscape at 1,267 feet high and is considered sacred by many Native American tribes including the Lakota. The rock is climbable if you have the gall for it and its solitary nature makes it all the more stunning as you look out over the land below it.
The igneous stump rises out of the ground like some sort of proclamation to the sky and it is a true wonder.
11. Carlsbad Caverns - New Mexico
Beneath the Chihuahuan desert is a labyrinth of 100 caves filled with limestone stalactites and stalagmites that shimmer across the ceiling and floors of these underground caverns. The colors they produce are immense and the serenity and eerie calm is something to be experienced deep beneath the earth.
Part of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, they are something to see if you ever get out there.
12. Bryce Canyon National Park - Utah
Yet more beauty from Utah as thousands of red and orange rock spires puncture the sky in a magnificent display which can be seen from the park's main road. Called 'hoodoos' these rock formations sprawl across the park in a glorious fashion and cast magnificent shadows in the dying light of sunset or at the start of the day at sunrise.
If you manage to get an aerial view you will be in awe of how far this hoodoos span.
13. Sequoia National Park - California
Home to the world's largest tree, The General Sherman, and another four of the ten largest in the world, the park has a tree tunnel carved out of a fallen giant that allows visitors to drive right through the center of its trunk. A forest of enormous trees you simply cannot get a real concept of the size and scope of them until you see them yourself.
Majestic and beautiful all at once.
14. Horseshoe Bend - Arizona
Just outside of the Grand Canyon National Park sits this jaw-dropping site that sees the Colorado river curve around a rock formation that has been cut out of the mineral rich canyon walls that contrast their deep orange against the emerald waters that shine so because of the deposits that seep into them from the stone around them.
A stunning example of a horseshoe bend, this is well worth stepping out of the park for.
15. Na Pali Coast State Park - Hawaii
Cover 6,000 acres of Hawaii's oldest inhabited island, this park juxtaposes its tropical setting with Jurassic age cliffs that plummet straight down into the sea in an epic coming together of land and sea creating a picturesque and imposing wall of rock from the water.
With plenty of greenery to explore and wildlife to discover as well, a visit should be on the cards for any adventurer.