From otherworldly destinations to downright creepy spots, there are many mysterious places around the world that ooze secrecy and intrigue. Whether you’re a conspiracy theorist, a UFO-believer, a supernatural buff, or you don’t believe in any of that sort of stuff at all, some of these baffling spots are hard to explain.
Keep reading to discover nine of the most mysterious places around the world and wait for the goosebumps to rise on your arms.
1. Longyearbyen Town, Norway
In Longyearbyen, the world’s most Northernmost town, the sun doesn’t rise for four months during the colder months. As you can imagine, this makes for very bleak winters indeed.
However, in the warmer months, the locals welcome a long, lingering summer as the sun doesn’t set for four months.
Another strange surprise from Longyearbyen is that it’s illegal to die in the town. The land is so cold that the bodies buried in Longyearbyen haven’t yet decomposed due to the permafrost. That means the tiny graveyard of the town has stopped accepting new burials.
2. The Island of Dolls, Mexico
The Island of Dolls in Mexico is one of the creepier spots on this list. Legend has it that Julian, the caretaker of the island, had found a dead girl who’d drowned traumatically under unknown circumstances. Shortly after the little girl’s death, Julian spotted a toy doll floating in the canal.
Julian assumed the toy doll belonged to the young girl. As a mark of respect, he hung the doll onto a tree.
Legend has it, the spirit of the girl soon haunted Julian. He hung more and more dolls up and soon became obsessed with this habit to calm her. Since Julian usually found these dolls in the trash, they were often mangled, disfigured, and mutilated.
Julian, the caretaker, was eventually found dead, drowned in the same spot as the little girl 50 years after he first started hanging the dolls. Sounds like a true horror story, huh?
The Island of Dead Dolls is now a popular tourist spot, with visitors far and wide exploring the island and taking photos of the decaying, creepy-looking dolls.
3. Mir Mine, Russia
At 1720 feet deep, Mir Mine is the second largest excavated hole in the world. It is a former diamond mine and is known as ‘the navel of the earth.’ As well as being eerily inactive, there have been several incidents of aircraft being sucked into the giant hole by the airflow.
The airspace above Mir Mine has been closed to avoid any similar mishaps.
4. Aokigahara Forest, Japan
Aokigahara is darkly known as ‘Suicide forest’, and it doesn’t take a genius to guess why. The forest is a hotspot for suicide in Japan. In fact, it’s among the top three suicide spots in the world.
Officials search for bodies regularly, and it’s estimated that in 2010 there were approximately 200 suicide attempts. Nowadays, officials avoid publicizing the figures.
What makes this forest even creepier is that it has a long past related to death. In the 19th century, ‘Ubasute,’ translating to ‘abandoning an old woman,’ was practised in Aokigahara. This referred to when elderly relatives were left to die during challenging times of drought and famine.
Rumour has it that the spirits of the elderly who were left to die alone still haunt the forest.
5. Blood Falls, Antarctica
The Blood Falls in East Antarctica consists of rust-red water contrasting against the pure white snow, and this phenomenon is a peculiar sight to see. The source of the water’s unusual colour has confused researchers since its discovery. However, recent conclusions have been made that the cause of the peculiar red hue is a subterranean lake rich in iron.
Even more bizarrely, research has revealed a hidden ecosystem of microorganisms lurking 1,300 feet beneath the ice.
Discoveries like the Blood Falls have prompted scientists to wonder whether a similar ecosystem could exist on Mars, where the terrains are compared to Antarctica. Exciting stuff.
6. Superstition Mountains, United States
The aptly named Superstition Mountains, sitting east of Phoenix, Arizona, is another spot surrounded by stories and legends. During the 1800s, a man named Jacob Waltz discovered a vast goldmine hidden within the mountains. Rumour has it, Jacob kept this secret until his deathbed when he told one other person.
Whoever Jacob confided in must have been a fantastic secret-keeper because, to this day, the mystery mine has never been found despite many adventurers attempting to seek it out.
More tales suggest that the spirits of those who have lost their lives searching for the mine still haunt the mountains. So, if you fancy embarking on the adventure yourself, be cautious.
7. The Bermuda Triangle, The Atlantic Ocean
No list of mysterious places could be complete without the Bermuda Triangle, perhaps the most puzzling place in the world. The world-famous triangle is loosely bounded by Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. Historically many aircraft and ships have disappeared within the Bermuda Triangle under mysterious circumstances.
As a result, many believe that paranormal activity or extra-terrestrial beings cause these eerie disappearances. The question is, will the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle ever be solved?
8. Socotra Island, Yemen
Set off the coast of Yemen in the Indian Ocean, Socotra has been described as the ‘most alien-looking place on earth’, and it’s easy to see why. A third of the plants found on the archipelago islands (nearly 700) cannot be found anywhere else on earth.
9. Nazca Lines, Peru
The cryptic lines found in the Nazca Desert were formed thousands of years ago by the Nazca people. Best seen from high up in the sky, the lines represent animals and people that the Nazcas deemed important.
However, there’s never been a conclusion as to why these cryptic lines were drawn in the first place. One theory is that the Nazca people wanted the gods in the sky to see them. At that size, they surely can’t be missed.
Want to discover more of my travel writing? Here are four surprising sights to see in Italy’s Vatican City.