Our World is Big, Wonderful and Wild

We live in a big, wonderful world with many terrifying and mysterious places, places just waiting for the next death defying traveler go to visit.

From Hell-themed amusement parks to islands covered with snakes, below are some of the scariest places in the world, as follows;

North Yungas Road, Bolivia

The path from La Paz to Coroico, Bolivia, is a treacherous one: The North Yungas Road weaves precariously through the Amazon rainforest at a height of more than 15,000 ft. When you consider that elevation, the 12-foot-wide single lane, lack of guardrails, and limited visibility due to rain and fog it is easy to see why this 50-mile stretch of highway has earned the nickname “The Death Road.” While the North Yungas Road used to see some 200 to 300 annual deaths, it has now become more of a destination for adventurous mountain bikers than a vehicular thoroughfare.

Nagoro, Japan

Nagoro is a tiny Japanese village with one very notable feature: a life-sized doll population that outnumbers the human population nearly 10:1. The toy residents are the work of local Tsukimi Ayano, who began making doll replicas of her neighbors after they died or moved away. The eerie doppelgängers can be seen in various positions across the town—fishermen sitting on the riverbank, students filling entire classrooms, elderly couples resting on benches outside of buildings. There are now around 350 dolls and 27 breathing humans, the youngest is over the age of 50 in Nagoro, making it a quirky and somewhat terrifying toyland.

Hill of Crosses, Šiauliai, Lithuania

People have been placing crosses on this hill in northern Lithuania since the 14th Century. In the benign, throughout the medieval period, the crosses expressed a desire for Lithuanian independence. Then, after a peasant uprising in Y 1831, people began adding to the site in remembrance of dead rebels. The hill became a place of defiance once again during Soviet occupation from Ys 1944 to 1991. The hill and crosses were bulldozed by Soviets 3X, but locals kept rebuilding it. There are now more than 100,000 crosses crowded there, banging together in the breeze like eerie wind chimes.

Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico

Despite its history and status as a Unesco World Heritage Site, Xochimilco is primarily known for its Isla de las Munecas, or “Island of the Dolls.” Hidden among the boroughs many canals, the tiny island is famous for the hundreds of dolls, and doll parts hanging from trees and scattered among the grass. Although it looks more like a horror movie set than anything else, the chinampa used to be the actual residence of a now-deceased man named Julian Santa Barrera. After finding a dead girl’s body in a nearby canal, Mr. Barrera collected and displayed the toys in the hopes of warding off evil spirits. Daring souls can hire their own boat, try to convince the driver to pay it a visit, and view it safely from the water.

Taylor Glacier, Antarctica

It may look like a geological crime scene, but the five-story, crimson waterfall of Taylor Glacier, aka “Blood Falls” is a completely natural wonder. The phenomenon can be traced back about 5-M years, when the glacier sealed off a microbe-rich lake beneath it. Isolated from light and oxygen, the water became more and more concentrated, both in terms of salt and iron content. The water’s salinity level, about 3X saltier than the ocean keeps it from freezing, while the iron provides the color. It then seeps out through a fissure in the glacier for the gory display.

Centralia, Pennsylvania

From the late 1800’s to the 1960’s, Centralia was a quaint but bustling town in Pennsylvania, thanks to its prosperous coal mines. However, when a mine mysteriously caught fire in Y 1962, the flames began to spread underground via the interconnecting tunnels. Although the citizens were aware of the situation, they were not troubled until 2 isolated incidents some years later: 1) a gas station owner reporting abnormally high gasoline temperatures in his underground tanks in Y 1979, and 2) a young boy nearly falling into a 150-ft-deep sinkhole in his backyard in Y 1981. Since those disturbing occurrences, the town’s population decreased sharply. As of Y 2014, only 7 residents remain, although Centralia seems like a complete ghost town upon visiting. If you ever find yourself in the deserted city, you will find lots of torn down buildings, crumbled sidewalks, and the cracked, graffiti-filled Route 61. And just in case you forgot why the town is deserted, you can occasionally see smoke billowing out from the subterranean fires, which scientists estimate will continue to burn for at least another 250 years.

Gomantong Caves, Sabah, Malaysia

The Gomantong Caves in Malaysia are geographical wonders, with limestone walls reaching up to 300 ft in some spots, but visitors often leave the site describing it as one of the most disgusting wildlife experiences they have ever had. 1st Gomantong is home to more than 2-M bats, which leads to impossibly thick layers of guano covering the ground. If you can make it through the river of bat droppings, you will then encounter several million Malaysian cockroaches scurrying around. Wherever the guano is, that’s where the cockroaches will be. Finally, if you get past the bat smell and cockroaches crawling up your legs, there are several other wonderful creatures you just might happen upon, including snakes, scorpions, freshwater crabs, and the infamous giant scutigera centipedes poisonous critters that are at least 3 ins long.

No of those places are on my list…

Have a terrific New Year Holiday week.