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.
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.
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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.
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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.