This week we've highlighted 7 of the world's most mysterious destinations. From ancient structures with unknown origins to a bizarre geological formation that only astronauts get to see, these remarkable destinations are as mysterious as they are mesmerising. The origins of some of these ancient constructions remain controversial, was it UFOs or were prehistoric civilizations more advanced than we can begin to imagine? Perhaps you'll recognise a few, but we bet there are a few surprises on our list that you've never heard of before! Learning about new places is one of the greatest attributes of travel, but with a few of these puzzling destinations, there are some questions that might never be answered.

The Moai of Easter Island


The mystery of Easter Island is a source of controversy to this day. This tiny island is located 3,500km off the southwest coast of Chile in the South Pacific. Its remote location and relative obscurity make it a strange home for the 1,000+ massive monolith stone statues that reside here. These bizarre manmade heads are called moai, and can weigh up to 80 tonnes and stand over 10 metres high. Questions surrounding their origin and creators have indicated that early Polynesians probably constructed them to honour tribal leaders around AD1100. However, making the moai would have been a massive undertaking, one that some critics claim could not have been done by man alone. Conspirators think that aliens created the strange moai, what do you think?

The Pyramids of Mauritius

pyramids-2 The lush island of Mauritius is better known for its luxurious holiday resorts and tropical beaches than its stake in archeology history. So when French scientist Antoine Gidal re-discovered seven pyramids sprawling amongst Mauritian farmland in 2008, it came as quite a surprise. The seven terraced pyramids are identical to those low-lying stone structures found in Tenerife, the Spanish island off the coast of Northern Africa. The striking similarities between the pyramids in Tenerife and Mauritius give life to the theory that one ancient civilization travelled extensively around the coast of Africa and are responsible for all of these structures. In both places the pyramids have been built around a larger complex, are less than 12 metres high with between 6-12 terraced steppes, and are built from lava stone. Their exact origins and purpose remains contested, so the mystery behind the Mauritius pyramids might never be unveiled.

The Eye of the Sahara, Mauritania 

the-eye-of-africa-mauritania-2 Located miles away from any town, the Eye of the Sahara, also known as the Richat Structure, is a wondrous natural formation that is best viewed from the sky. That’s why for years, the Eye of the Sahara was hiding in plain sight. Because its bulls-eye formation is hard to spot on the ground level, it wasn’t until astronauts in space noticed it that the Eye of the Sahara became a highly contested natural phenomenon. Stretching across 25 miles, the Eye of the Sahara was once believed to be the location of a large impact crater. That theory was later debunked when scientists failed to find enough molten rock to support the claim. The more radical theory behind the Eye of the Sahara is that it's actually the final resting place of the ancient mythological city of Atlantis. However, now, it’s understood that the strange formation was the result of hundreds of millions of years of geological movement and plate tectonics. No matter how this mesmerising formation was formed, it has us transfixed!

The Nazca Lines, Peru

nazca-lines-custom-travel-to-peru-ancient-summit Another thought-provoking landscape best seen from above are Peru’s famous Nazca Lines. They are located in the dry arid plateau that extends between the towns of Nazca and Pampas. The Nazca Lines are a collection of large geoglyphs that are in the shapes of animals such as monkeys and birds, flowers and trees while others are simple shapes and geometric designs. The lines, which were formed by removing the top layer of reddish pebbles to expose the white/greyish earth underneath, were constructed by the Nazca culture sometime between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500. Archaeologists, ethnologists and anthropologists have studied the Nazca Lines for generations to determine their purpose. While the jury is still out as to why exactly the Nazca people created the impressive designs, most theories suggest their purpose related to either astrology, religious cosmology or religious practices.

Pulemelei, Samoa

pyrsamoaAs the dense jungle vegetation continues to swallow the mysterious Pulemelei Mound, it makes it harder to identify this incredible and mysterious structure. As the largest ancient structure in Polynesia, the origins and purpose of the Pulemelei Mound continues to baffle historians and archeologists alike. The earthen superstructure was built on a stone foundation and rises 12 metres high in the island of Savai’i. While other nearby structures have been dated between AD1000-1600 the date of the Pulemelei Mound remains unknown.

Stone Spheres, Costa Rica

costaricsastonesspheres2 For the past century hundreds of perfectly formed spherical monolithic stone balls have been uncovered the Diquis Delta in Costa Rica. The stone balls range greatly in size with some only a few centimetres across while others weigh up to 16 tonnes. The stones were quarried from the Terraba riverbed and were then moved up to fifty miles away. The mystery surrounding the stone balls continues as scientists are still unsure why they were created; when they were constructed and how ancient men could have chiselled them so perfectly.

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The Carnac Stones, France

SONY DSC Located in the French province of Brittany, the Carnac Stones refer to the largest and most densely grouped collection of megalithic sites in the world. Over 3000 prehistoric stones have been erected to form twelve converging rows that spread out over a kilometre in length. The size of the stones descends from west to east, and on either end of the alignment, there are the remains of a stone circle. Scientists have yet to determine the exact age of the Carnac Stones, but they have been roughly dated back to the Neolithic period, which lasted from 4500 BC until 2000. The stone’s purpose also remains a mystery, but it’s likely that they were used as a type of celestial calendar or astronomical observatory. Local lore says that when a Roman army was marching through the land, the legendary wizard Merlin cast a spell and turned all of the soldiers into stone. While we might never know their true purpose, the Carnac Stones are definitely an anomaly and an interesting tourist attraction in France.

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