About 6 kilometers south of Dunhuang city in China, and surrounded by the Echoing-Sand Mountain, Crescent Lake can be called a natural wonder in the Gobi Desert. Actually, it resembles a crescent fallen down into the desert. Crescent Lake sits on the edge of an ancient city that once saw traders embark on their journey along the Silk Road to the West. Since the 1960’s the depth of the lake continually declined, but in 2006 the local government with help of the central government started to fill the lake and restore its depth. Its depth and size have been growing yearly since then.
Torysh, also known as the “Valley of Balls”, is located close to the town of Shetpe in Western Kazakhstan. The rounded concretions are 120-180 million years old and their size reaches 4 m in diameter. Geologists do not have a single opinion about the processes that created these mysterious formations. The balls are believed to be concretions —a hard, compact mass formed by the precipitation of minerals. The phenomenon is not rare — examples of such concretions are found all over the globe.
Geamana is an abandoned village in Romania. The place makes for some intriguing pictures but it has a very sad story. In 1978 the communist regime forced the inhabitants of Geamana to move out so that an artificial lake could take its place that served as a kind of catch-basin for the nearby Roșia Poieni’s copper mine contaminated sludge to flow into. The lake, is a giant crater, filled mostly with acid red water. The tower of the church, the roofs of a few houses and various dead treetops are the only remnants today.
Monemvasia is located on a small island off the east coast of the Peloponnese in Greece. The island is linked to the mainland by a short causeway 200m in length. Its area consists mostly of a large plateau some 100 meters above sea level, the site of a powerful medieval fortress. The town walls and many Byzantine churches remain from the medieval period. The medieval buildings have been restored, and many of them converted to hotels.
Monemvasia’s nickname is the Gibraltar of the East or The Rock. The island of Monemvasia was separated from the mainland by an earthquake in 375 AD.
Photo credit: syl.lemouzy/Flickr
The Trou de Bozouls is a horseshoe shaped gorge, 400 m in diameter and more than 100 m deep, located on the territory of the commune of Bozouls, in Aveyron, France. This encircled meander has been dug by the erosive action of the current waters of Dourdou in the secondary limestones of Causse Comtal. The unique geography of the area came about 2 million years ago when glaciers advanced and receded. Humans have built settlements in the area for thousands of years, using the limestone rock to create their dwellings.