2 Mins Read
Written by Eugene Wambeck
There are many things and places under the sun hidden from plain sight that will take our breath away. These awesome things and places often defy expectations and definitions. In this edition, we hunt down five experiences for you to indulge your soul and lust for curiosity. So add these to your bucket list and we hope you’ll have the opportunity to check them out. If you do, we want to hear back from you and remember to be mindful of your impact on the place you are visiting!
First up, flowers. These spectacles of nature herald the change of seasons and dazzle us with their bright colours and energetic blooms, but can they hold unexpected surprises too? We say yes! Head to Japan to spy on the Skeleton Flower. Native to the wooded Highlands of colder regions, these diminutive white blooms have a special ability. Their white petals become transparent when it rains! The petals of Diphylleia grayi are opaque when dry. As they absorb water, they become transparent, revealing the veination patterns of the petals. This is why they have the name skeleton flower.
Rivers are often a sight to behold in cityscapes. Old world buildings and towering skyscrapers hug the curves of the rivers to give each town a distinctive look. Not to be eclipsed by their city cousins, there are rivers out in the wild that are imbued with an otherworldly beauty. One strong contender is the “River of Five Colours”, or Cano Cristales in Colombia. The river bed of Cano Cristales is dressed in striking hues of yellow, green, blue, black and red from July through to November. In the short span between the wet and dry seasons, when the water level is just right, a unique species of plant that lines the river floor called Macarenia clavigera turns a brilliant red. It is offset by splotches of yellow and green sand and blue water, forming the hues that give it its name.
Some of us can spend an excessive amount of time in front of the mirror fussing and pruning. So how would it feel like to come face to face with the “World’s largest mirror”? Tucked away in Bolivia, amidst the Andes, Salar de Uyuni is a prehistoric lake that went dry. This massive salt flat covers an expanse of nearly 11,000 square kilometres. It forms a perfect reflecting pool when it floods from December to March, earning it a nickname “God’s Mirror”!
So far, we’ve covered destinations that are further afield, but who doesn’t want the convenience of something spectacular in our own backyard. Vietnam takes the cake at number four. The country holds the distinction for having the largest cave in the World. At more than 200 metres high, 150 metres wide and 5 kilometres long, the Hang Son Doong cave is so big, it has its own climate, clouds, jungle and river. IKR, we are with you when we exclaim mind blown!
Rounding off our list at Number Five is an “underwater waterfall” just off the coast of Maritius. Aerial photographs of the peninsula look almost as if the island’s surrounding waters, the Indian Ocean is being sucked into a giant hole. This spectacular sight is in reality an illusion that results from the way in which sand and silt have run off on the ocean floor as they are being moved by underwater currents. This vision of nature just screams out for an exhilarating helicopter ride. Like we needed another reason to do so!