Travel pictures: Five out-of-this-world locations that you might not believe exist

Holiday seekers looking for something a little different for their next big escape might find some inspiration in these travel photos. The world is home to all manner of strange and incredible happenings which many might not even realise exist.

Luckily, travel photographers around the world have ventured off the beaten path to discover a few of the world’s most stunning wonders.

For those hoping to shake up their next adventure, or simply wanting to uncover some mind-blowing destinations, has put together photographs of five of the world’s weirdest wonders.

Will you be making plans to visit any of them?

Stairway to Heaven, Oahu, Hawaii

The hike up the Stairway to Heaven, also known as Haiku Stairs, is a now closed trail situated in Oahu, Hawaii.

A total 3,922 steps span along Oahu’s Ko’olau mountain range, making for a steep yet stunning journey.

Initially built in 1943 for use by the US Navy, the stairs were closed to the public in 1987.

This hasn’t stopped sneaky explorers trying to sidestep security, but those caught face repercussions.

In 2014, six people were arrested and 135 were required to answer to charges for climbing the stairs.

As of 2018 local authorities said they had no plans to reopen the stairs to the public, however in 2020 plans were announced to attempt to transform them into a paid for activity.

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Hinatuan Enchanted River, Surigao del Sur, Philippines

The Enchanted River located in Mindanao Philippines gets its name based on the belief that it is, in fact, enchanted.

It earned its title thanks to the river’s unusual colours and unexplored depths, which have in turn inspired many local legends.

One such legend states fairies added the colours of sapphire and jade to the river.

The river also features in a poem by diplomat Modesto Farolan titled “Rio Encantado”.

This deep spring river flowers into both the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Gatway to Hell, Derweze, Turkmenistam

The “Gateway to Hell”, also known as the “Door to Hell” is a naturally forming gas field in Turkmenistan which collapsed into an underground cavern in 1971.

In a bid to stop the spread of methane gas, geologists set the area on fire.

It is said to have been burning ever since.

The gas crater has a total area of 5,350 m2 – the size of an American football field.

The Crooked Forest, Gmina Gryfino, Poland

Though this mystical forest looks like something from a fairy tale, it is actually very real.

Located near the village of Nowe Czarnowo in Gmina Gryfino, the grove of misshapen trees is estimated to be between 70 and 80 years old.

Each pine tree bends sharply to the north just above ground level, then curves back upright after a sideways excursion of three to nine feet.

Though there is no clear answer as to what happened to the trees, it is thought they were made to form that way using a human tool or technique.

Other ideas suggest it is the result of a snowstorm.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

The Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, or playa, stretching over 1,000 square kilometres.

It was formed as the result of a prehistoric lake that went dry, leaving behind the desert-like surroundings.

Visitors flock from afar to see its bright white salt, rock formations and cacti-studded landscape.

The area is also home to a number of pink flamingos.

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