13. Morning Glory Pool – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Named after the flower representing the rich colors of the pool, The Morning Glory is arguably one of the world’s most famous hot springs. However, the Morning Glory Pool isn’t exactly what it used to be, as over the years the famous hot spring has started to go by another name, “Faded Glory”.
This change in name is due to the significant amount of vandalism and debris that has slowly built up and altered the color of the pool. It is these pieces of rubbish and debris – such as coins, rocks, and all kinds of absurd objects – that have clogged up core heating sources under the water’s surface, causing the pools temperature to drop.
Researchers believe that due to the lowered temperature of the pool, photosynthetic microorganisms – which previously couldn’t have survived – began to thrive in the new temperature, causing the pool to take on the distinctive green, yellow, and orange colorization.
12. The Darvaza Gas Crater – Derweze, Turkmenistan
Often referred to as the Door to Hell or Gates to Hell, the Darvaza Gas Crater is a giant natural gas field that has left scientists baffled and confused as the crater has been left burning for more than four decades.
Located in the middle of the Karakum Desert – near the small village of Derweze – it is believed that the flaming crater was a result of a drilling mishap caused by a team of Soviet geologists when the ground under a drilling rig gave way – causing the sinkhole to form.
With an opening of 69 meters wide and 30 meters deep, it is no wonder that the team began to worry that the giant crater would begin releasing poisonous gases into the air. As a result, the team decided to light the crater on fire in hopes that all of the fuel would be burnt over the course of a few days.
However, that clearly was not the case as some 40 years later, the Darvaza Gas Crater continues to burn and sees thousands of tourists flock to the area each and every year to catch a glimpse of the unbelievable site.