Tourism today has become such a wide phenomenon that people are running out of destinations. Visiting a destination with its usual historical importance which everyone has heard of is indeed a cliche. So to spice up your travel, we bring before you 20 most bizarre yet fascinating places, which is indeed one of the few famous tourist destinations today.
20/. Crooked Forest, Poland: In the town of Gryfino in western Poland, there are about 400 pine trees with a 90 degrees northward bend at the base of their limb. Different theories have been proposed to explain the strange behavioral growth of these pine trees yet the mystery behind its growth still remains unexplained. However, the most acceptable theory is that, in early 1930s, the farmers planted these trees manipulating its shape for using it in making furniture or ship which needed an arch shaped wood. Though no one is certain of the causes behind its odd shape, it yet remains one of a famous tourist destination today.
19/. Toilet Theme Park, Suwon, South Korea: Talking about bizarre, it’s not every day that you hear about a toilet themed park. In the Sewon city of Seoul, there is the one and only Toilet Theme Park, dedicated to its former Mayor, who was also known as “Mr. Toilet” (had a toilet shaped house which is now a museum) . Even though as disgusting and as hilarious it may sound, this park carries a message of raising awareness about sanitation in the developing countries.
18/. Capuchin Catacombs, Sicily, Italy: Sometimes, visiting a graveyard in broad daylight itself is nerve wrecking. Imagine a place with close to 8000 age old human bodies, preserved as Mummy. The catacomb which was said to be made for the purpose of preserving the bodies of the monks was later opened for public as well. So today it is indeed one of the strangest attractions where age old bodies are hanging all over the wall; some are barely skeleton today and other yet have their hair, teeth intact with a decomposing skin.
17/. Alnwick Poison Garden, England: Poison Garden? Yes, because meditational garden or garden of roses is too mainstream. Imagine entering a garden, where the entry gate board reads, “These plants can kill”. Started as a hobby by the Duchess of Northumberland, Alnwick today, houses about 100 poisonous plants. Guides explain their deadly properties while enforcing the strict “No touching; no smelling” rules. However the garden also includes certain narcotic plants like poppies, cannabis, magic mushrooms, and tobacco.
16/. Bullet Baba, Rajasthan, India: It’s not every day you come across a place, where people worship bikes as God. Well! This happens only in India. In Jodhpur, Rajasthan, people have been worshipping a bullet bike which is also known as “Bullet Baba”. According to the local sources, Om Singh Rathore, the owner of this famous bullet bike, met with an accident and died at that spot. After the accident the bike was taken by the police authorities to the station, just to find it lying in the same spot the other day. Every-time they took the bike to the police station (sometimes even emptied the petrol tank thinking its a prank); to their surprise, the bike would appear at the same accident spot. This was indeed something miraculous for the local people so they started worshipping the bike. It is believed that Om Singh’s spirit guides the travellers.
15/. Door to Hell Derweze, Turkmenistan: No one has seen hell yet all of us have our very own concept of Hell. A pit, situated within a natural gas fields in Turkmenistan, created after a drilling rig collapsed, is better known as ‘Doorway to Hell’. It is called so because of the hellish fire burning since 1971. It all started when the Soviet Geologists were exploring a natural gas field and the drilling rig soon collapsed. With the fear of the Methane gas affecting the nearby areas, the scientists decided to burn off the poisonous gas, which would be burnt off within days but to their surprise, the pit is still burning attracting a large number of researchers and tourists.
14/. Yunessun Spa Resort, Hakone, Japan: If the usual spa is luxury for you then you might as well have to rethink. Yunessun Spa Resort in Hakone, Japan is indeed one of those resorts, who went an extra mile and added some flavor to it. Here, you can soak yourself in green tea, coffee, wine and Japanese sake. The specialty is, it’s not just some colored water but actual drinks, which is said to cure freckles and age spots.
13/. Carhenge Nebraska, USA: If you have heard of Stonehenge in England, Carhenge is no different from this prehistoric monument. The only difference you may find is the use of cars instead of stone in this modern replica. It was built by Jim Reinders, as a memorial to his father.
12/. Elmer’s Bottle tree Ranch, California: We all have heard of Black forest or the Amazon Rain forest but have you heard of a forest with trees entirely made out of bottles? Right at the heart of California desert is the Elmer’s Bottletree Ranch which is a forest in itself with about 200 beautiful trees made out of colorful bottles. The kaleidoscopic view indeed is a delight for photographers.
11/. Prada Marfa, Valentine, Texas: In the middle of a desert in the city of Marfa, West Texas, is where the Prada store is located as a “pop architectural land art project”. Prada Marfa is a replica of an original Prada store, which has real Prada collection from 2005 winter collection. More than it’s remotely unique beauty, it has more often been in news as a target to vandalism, because of which it was legally declared a “museum” in Sept. 2014 to prevent its demolition.
10/. Bubblegum Alley, California: Chewing gum might be banned in Singapore, but in California; you can chew as many gums you want and stick it to a wall adding it up to be another tourist site. It is believed that the tradition of sticking gums started in the late 1950s as rivalry between San Luis Obispo High School and Cal Poly students. When the Poly students thought that the San Luis kids were trying to outdo them with the number of gums on the wall; they got ahead by creating the Bubblegum Alley. While some find it disgusting, others find it artistic.
09/. The Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic: Its not everyday that you come across a church made out of human bones and skulls. It is said that in early 1278, King henry’s diplomat got handful of earth from Golgotha and sprinkled around the cemetery of Sedlec monastery; attracting many people who desired to be buried here. Approximately 30,000 were buried here after which there was no more room for the rest. The bodies were thus moved to a crypt, and in 1870 a woodcarver named Frantisek Rint was appointed to place the bones in order which led to the establishment of Sedlec Ossuary also known as ‘the bone church’.
08/. Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden, Bangkok: The sole purpose of visiting a park is rejuvenation and relaxation. But in Bangkok, a park depicting the concept of hell according to the Buddhist teachings, will make you think twice about your deeds. In this park, it shows the perception of hell varies as per the sins committed but the punishment would be torture in any form. The punishment is well depicted through gruesome statues.
07/. Jatinga Assam, India: Amidst the lush green mountains of Jatinga, India, lies the sad truth or rather a mysterious phenomenon of the birds committing suicide. This happens almost everyday during late monsoon season. Among the various theories proposed, the more acceptable one is, dense monsoon fog and high altitude daze birds which lead them to the village lights and thus hitting trees and buildings, distracted by the light.
06/. Cat Island, Tashirojima, Japan: Having an island where the cat population exceeds human population sounds beyond imagination. But in a small island Tashirojima in Japan, better known as ‘Cat Island’, the cats outnumber human as a result of the local belief that feeding cats will bring wealth and good fortune. Bringing a dog to this island is prohibited. However Tashirojima is only one among those eleven cat islands in Japan.
05/. The tree goats, Morocco: Its not everywhere you see goats climbing a tree. But in Morocco, it is quite a sight to see a bunch of goats climbing high up on the narrow branches of the Argan trees. They are mostly attracted by the Argan fruit which has a pulpy thick skin. The goats don’t seem to digest the fruit seed which is later collected by the village women . They crack open and grind the nut to extract Argan oil.
04/. Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia: The world’s largest salt flat, with reflection of the sky so vivid making the earth look like its immitting the sky, is yet another unusual attraction. And just when you thought you had seen enough, this piece of heaven houses a hotel made out of salt.
03/. The Paris Sewer Museum, France: Eiffel Tower in Paris has always been the talk of the town with it being one of the most romantic destinations in the world. However, other than the majestic Eiffel tower or the classic Louvre Museum, Paris houses the Paris Sewers Museum also known as the Musée des égouts de Paris. As clean and organized as the streets above, the Parisian sewers have always fascinated tourists, and the sewers were opened to the public during the World Exposition of 1867. Tourists were originally given tours on a small boats up until 1970.
02/. Isla de Las Munecas, Mexico: An island filled with dolls of all size and shapes of which most are in distorted form; is indeed a sight creepy enough. It all started when Don Julian Santana left behind his family and moved onto an island on Teshuilo Lake. Legend has it that, he found the spirit of a young girl who drowned in the lake and died. However his family deny this statement and say that the girl was merely his imagination. Honouring the lost girl’s soul, Don started collecting dolls from everywhere possible (also went to an extent of trading what he produced to the locals). Sad truth is he was found dead in the same place where the girl drowned.
01/. India is well renowned for the worship of cows but have you ever heard of people worshipping rats? There is a temple in Rajasthan, India where people worship rats. According to the legend, the temple dates back to 1400s, when Mata Karni, an incarnation of the goddess Durga, asked the death-god Yoma to reincarnate the son of a grieving storyteller. Mata Karni was disappointed when the death God didn’t listen to her, as he had already accepted his soul and reincarnated him in a human form. Mata Karni promised the storyteller that members of the Charan caste – would be reincarnated as rats in her temple before being reborn into the tribe. Thus this temple has hundreds of rats running all over the complex.