11 of the World’s Most Otherworldly Landscapes

The earth is a strange and wondrous place, where natural occurrences are sometimes so odd they seem almost alien. Here are 11 natural formations that can be found on earth, but are out of this world.

1-Blood-Falls Peter Rejcek; National Science Foundation

Blood Falls, Antarctica

The grisly formation known as Blood Falls,  where red, blood-like water trickles out of an Antarctic glacier is a delightfully gory and natural phenomenon. The salty groundwater is rich in microbes, full of iron (which rusts when exposed to oxygen) and is thought to be at least 2 million years old. Scientists say the landscape is similar to that of Mars and wonder if it could hold the key to discovering more about life on the red planet.

2-Danxia-LandformRat007 / Shutterstock

Danxia Landform, China

The beautiful striped red, blue and yellow mountains that make up the Danxia Landform in China look like a surreal painting, but were formed from layers of minerals over 24 million years that were then squashed together by tectonic plates. It was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2010.

3-Spotted-LakeRowdy Soetisna / Shutterstock

Spotted Lake, Canada

This mineral-rich lake in British Columbia is known as a sacred medicine lake to the local Okanagan First Nations People and is thought to have healing properties. The high salt levels cause depressions to form in the grass, creating salt-lined “spots” on the lake’s surface. In addition to being used for healing, the lake was also used to produce ammunition during World War I.



Cultured Palate: Dishes from the American Southwest

It’s easy to forget what a wealth of culinary tradition we have in the American Southwest. Hugely varied, the Southwest of the U.S. represents hundreds of years of culinary innovation.

Cultured Palate: Dishes from China

For many Americans, Chinese cuisine is the fried noodles and saucy spare ribs of our favorite take-out spot. In reality, though, these dishes tell us more about America than about China – American Chinese cuisine is its own unique food.

Cultured Palate: Dishes from Cuba

For decades, Americans and Cubans have been separated by government restrictions. Yet newly porous borders are giving tourists the chance to explore Cuba's cuisine and traditions for the first time.