The Richat Structure
The Richat Structure isn't exactly a structure at all—it's a land formation that still puzzles geologists and other scientists. As you can see, it's strikingly circular shape raises a lot of questions. Originally, scientists thought that it was caused by a meteor impact, but now a there's also a theory that it formed naturally as a result of the land eroding and lifting in certain places, giving it the spherical appearance. It seems a little too perfectly circular to be a natural phenomenon, but stranger things have happened. What's neat about the Richat Structure is just how insanely huge it is. Located in the Sahara desert, the “structure” is 30 miles wide, making it large enough to see from space.
No, that isn't a screenshot from the latest expansion pack of World of Warcraft, that's a real place. Socotra Island is located in the Indian sea, and has been referred to as the “other Galapagos island,” as it exclusively holds over 700 species of plant and animal that aren't anywhere else. Evolving in isolation can result in some pretty wild plant life and animals, at least to our untrained eye.
The Shilin, or in Chinese, The Stone Forest, is one of the most remarkable landscapes in the world. Basically, what happened in this area was that the ground used to have a lot of limestone in it, which is a soft sedimentary rock prone to erosion. So, long story short, over time a lot of the limestone eroded, leaving these pillars. This leaves a stunning “stone forest” of limestone pillars, which attract thousands of visitors each year. As far as petrified forests go, The Shilin is without a doubt the most impressive.