By Emily King
The Boneyard, Arizona
This is where planes go to die. Run by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, this aircraft graveyard stores over 4,400 planes, helicopters, and aerospace vehicles out in the desert heat. Planes are in various states of deconstruction and are slowly stripped for parts. If the zombie apocalypse came, this is what every airport would look like--every plane scattered across the land and in various states of being slowly harvested for parts. While the field of old military planes, commercial jumbo jets, rockets, and other awesome flying craft is not open for unsupervised exploration, tours are given through the local Pima Air and Space Museum for just $7.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The largest salt flat on the planet is often hailed as an other-worldly experience that has to be seen. When dry, the Salar de Uyuni appears like a blinding white glacier surrounded by desert mountains and fuzzy cacti, but the real magic happens when a layer of water across the surface of the flat creates the world’s largest mirror. This is a very popular spot for photographers--trip images usually include travelers suspended in a heaven-like sea of reflected clouds. Llamas and flamingos are both commonly spotted along the edges of the flat. Local accommodations include small hotels constructed out of salt blocks.
This network of beautiful terraced pools in Turkey looks like a hot spring straight out of a fairy tale. Travelers can enjoy walking barefoot along the stark-white calcium deposit and bathe in the milky-white water of the pools just as the Romans did. The $11 admission to enjoy the natural pools travertines includes access to the Roman ruins of Hierapolis. While the pools are a popular tourist spot, there are a handful of nearby Greco-Roman ruins that offer the same rich history without the crowds of Pamukkale.
Green Sand Beach, Hawaii
Swim in an ancient volcano’s cinder cone! One of only two green sand beaches in the world, Papakōlea Beach’s sand is rich in the mineral olivine from volcanic activity. This gives the beach a rich, deep green that looks like something from a martian resort. The beach is relatively secluded making it a great place to escape the tourists of the island--the option between a rough off-road drive or a dusty 2.5-mile hike to the beach keep all but the most adventurous travelers away, but those who press on are rewarded with this alien-like paradise.
Nestled within the lovely Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, the Zweglgarten (Dwarf Garden) has a strange history. Built in 1715 as a tribute to the dwarfs who entertained Prince Archbishop Franz Anton Harrach, the garden features a collection of strange statues of gnomes and dwarfs modeled after real people and peasants. The figures are often humorous caricatures of different nationalities. The statues were removed at one point by a particularly superstitious prince and were not recalled to the site until the early 1920s. While the garden does not have the complete original collection of these bizarre 18th century sculptures, it is a quirky place to take some hilarious snapshots.