13 Phenomenal Places You Never Even Knew Existed Worldwide

Megan Zara Walsh Megan Zara Walsh - Staff Writer

Rare Places

Because we just love a bit of wanderlust.

Our world is full of surprises, mystical wonders and natural beauty which are often or not left undiscovered. And since we love discovering the unknown here at Secret, we decided to track down some phenomenal places, from underwater cities to a theme park inside a mine to fascinating oasis’s in remote corners of the globe…we’ve found it all. Prepare to have your mind blown by 13 of the world’s must-visit spots that you never even knew existed.

1. Lake Retba, Senegal

We know about many famous pink lakes worldwide, but this pink lake, Lac Rose, in Senegal is a lesser-known phenomenal places. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a strip of narrow sand dunes, and is high in salt, like the renowned Dead Sea, so you can expect to be able to unwind and float across the lake. Indeed, it is perfect for swimming since the micro-algae is harmless to humans. Be sure to visit between November and June, when the lake is at its redness pigmentation due to absorbing sunlight.

2. Salina Turda, Romania

Discover the extraordinary natural underground man-made formation at Turda Salt Mine in the oldest settlement in Romania. Salina Turda will take you on a magical experience that combines modern facilities with the work of miners. Let loose and explore the Salt Museum, take a boat ride on the mine lake, watch movies in the Amphitheatre, play at the unreal amusement park, just to name a few activities. Certainly, you’ll find no other place like this in the world.

📍 Aleea Durgăului 7, Turda 401106, Romania

3. The Door To Hell, Turkemenistan

strange places
Photo Credit: Unsplash

In 1971, scientists decided to meddle with nature and lit this crater hole, full of natural gas, with fire. Now, 50 years later, it still burns at temperatures of 1,000 degrees. Though, it has led the way for plenty of expeditions of people who are desperate to witness the hellish flames for themselves. Nevertheless, it brings some tourism to the remote village of Darvaza nearby.

📍 Karakum Desert, Darvaza, Turkmenistan

4. Shi Cheng City, China

Deep below the waters of Qiandao Lake, you’ll find this 1,400 year old mysterious underwater city. Dubbed the Atlantis Of The East, experienced divers have discovered the carefully-preserved ancient structures and buildings of Shi Cheng. The lake was created in 1959 to make room for a reservoir and hydroelectric station. Unfortunately, there is no tourist diving allowed as of yet, but we can only hope that in the future we’ll get to see this unusual spot for ourselves.

5. The Wave, Utah-Arizona, USA

Hike three miles to the slopes of Coyote Buttes, at the Arizona-Utah border, to experience this majestic sandstone swirled coloured rock formation. Allegedly, it dates back to the dinosaur era when winds pushed the desert dunes across the sandstone, and water deposited chemicals fell over it. But who knows? Be sure to register for a permit before visiting because 20 travellers per day is the maximum.

6. Jellyfish Lake, Palau

This famous lake is the only place worldwide where you can swim with thousands of jellyfish without being harmed. Lucky for you, these particular jellyfish live off algae which means they have evolved without their stingers. Although swimming is permitted, diving is not allowed because the bottom layer of the lake hosts poisonous hydrogen sulfide. Naturally, this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip that you need to add to your post-covid bucket list.

📍 Eil Malk Island, Palau, Oceania 


7. Ice Canyon, Greenland

This impressive area is one of the most visited places in Greenland. Discovered in 2013, the subglacial bedrock canyon is almost twice as long as the Grand Canyon, and is a must-see at least once in your lifetime. At this mystical landmark, immerse yourself in the beauty of the turquoise river flowing through the canyon, and the icy landscape for afar.

8. Buzludzha, Bulgaria

This abandoned UFO-shaped Monument House is a great exploration for enthusiastic travellers. Opened in 1981 and run by the Bulgarian Communist Party, it is enriched in history and culture with some epic architecture and mosaics. Nowadays, it is covered in vandalism but still makes an incredible sight to see, especially in winter.

9. Red Beach, Panjin, China

Another rare location that is worth the six hour drive from Beijing. Located in the largest wetland and reed marsh on the planet, Red Beach doesn’t have any sand at all. Confused? Instead, it is covered in a red plant called Sueda, which turns the land strikingly red during the autumn. Most of the beach is protected and forbids tourists. Nevertheless, there is a walkway and other sections where you can the most captivating scenes ever.

10. Salar De Uyuimi, Bolivia

This surreal salt-covered lake is the world’s largest salt flat and transforms into a giant sky-reflecting mirror from September to May each year. Feel as if you’re parading across ice because the pools left over create a shimmering, illusionary horizon. Therefore, this makes it one of the most breathtaking places to visit globally. Additionally, nightfall brings an incredible stargazing experience.

11. Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia

If you love history and culture, you will adore this unusual World Heritage Site featuring over 111 monumental tombs, cave drawings and architectural designs dating back to the 1st century BC. A trip here offers an enlightening experience and an opportunity to learn about the Nabataean Kingdom. Before covid-19, thousands of wanderlust-hungry visitors flocked here each year because it is one of the most obscure and phenomenal places on the planet.

12. Tunnel Of Love, Klevan, Ukraine

Another one of the most unknown and phenomenal places worldwide. This fairytale-like setting traces back to the Cold War, when Soviet forces planted trees alongside the tracks to keep their transportations a secret. Nowadays, it is a popular location to pop the question, and attracts tourists from across the world looking to take a stroll on the unique railway tracks.

13. Huacachina, Peru

We bet you’ve never heard of this secluded oasis in Southwestern Peru. Head to this small village oasis, which is home to just 96 residents, and be surrounded by gigantic dunes and an exclusive lake. Bathe in the water and cover yourself in mud which allegedly can help to cure illnesses like arthritis and asthma. Excitingly, you can catch iconic sunsets here, sandboard, and explore the village’s culture and shops. Certainly, one of the most unheard of and phenomenal places worldwide.

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