Too often the Earth gets taken for granted. In science fiction we are treated to amazing locales and settings of incredible planets, and the imagination is so impressive that it’s easy to overlook what we have right here sometimes in our literal back yard. Earth is more diverse than anything James Cameron or George Lucas could dream up.

Just check out some of these incredible destinations and start booking your trips to our very own fantasy world.

1. Lake Hillier, Western Australia


This lake, named “The Pink Lake” by some guy who thinks being literal is cool, can be found along the Recherche Archipelago. The cause of the color remains unconfirmed but the prevailing theory is bacteria – and not Peptobismal as I had assumed.

2. Rainbow Mountains, Gansu Province, China


These mountains call the Zhangye Danxia Geological Park home. The sandstone that gives it such bright colors has been collecting for over 24 million years.

3. Three Sisters Volcano, Oregon, USA


Located amidst the ranges of the Cascade Mountains, this volcano is named after its three joint peaks: Faith, Charity and Hope.

4. Apostle Islands, Wisconsin, USA


The islands can be found on Lake Superior and are home to caves such as those above. The caves form beautiful displays of nature’s icey wonder. They remain one of the only places on earth where the phrase “polar vortex” can be a good thing.

5. Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska, USA


The glacier, once 12 miles in length is actually shrinking due to climate change.

6. Go∂afoss, Iceland


The Go∂afoss (pronounced “Gothafoss”) means “waterfall of the gods” in Icelandic and is 12 meters high and almost 30 meters across.

7. The Devil’s Punchbowl, Central Oregon, USA

Lost Passage

The ocean has smoothed these formations over time and the “bowl” was formed after two caves collapsed. The purple stuff down there is seaweed.

8. Abraham Lake, Alberta, Canada


Abraham is a manmade lake that came about as part of the construction of the Bighorn Dam. These odd ice shapes are formed from freezing bubbles of gas.

9. Valley of Fire, Nevada, USA

Color Wash

Similar to the Rainbow Mountains in China, these formations are also the work of sediments.

10. Spotted Lake, Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada


Mineral deposits are to blame for the odd formations that make up The Spotted Lake. They are only visible in the summer, after the waters have evaporated a bit. It is considered to have healing properties, butI know a giant game of Twister when I see it.

11. Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia


Both beautiful and rich in biodiversity, Lake Baikal is famous for it’s blue ice. It also holds nearly 1/5 of the world’s fresh water.

12. The Wave Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona, USA


This formation is very difficult to reach due to the lack of trails that lead to it. Holy smokes is it cool looking, though.

13. Fly Geyser, Nevada, USA


This small geyser is actually an accident created during drilling in 1964. It’s water sprouts can reach up to five feet.

14. Alentejo Beach, Portugal


This Portuguese beach is home to some of the richest arrays of flora and fauna in the whole country.

Source: Viralnova

I’m quickly filling up the ol’ bucket list with places to visit. I have at least these 14 places to go to before I book that trip to Mars.

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