Earth’s STRANGEST Lost Worlds

Earth’s STRANGEST Lost Worlds


From twin jungle sinkholes atop mountains
in South America to frozen lakes hidden below sea level in Antarctica, today we visit Earth’s
Strangest Lost Worlds. Number 13. Mount Roraima
A 12-square mile summit, Mount Roraima stands tall at 1,300 ft. of green-covered cliffs. This spectacle acts as the centerpiece between
the neighboring countries of Brazil, Guyana , and Venezuela in the middle of dense rainforests. From atop the plateau, the misty fog surrounding
the mountain transform this exotic location into a real life Mount Olympus as low-sitting
clouds sit far below the ledge. In addition to its commanding presence, Mount
Roraima hosts a plethora of the surrounding forests’ endemic species; animals and plants
that can only be found here in the world. This includes a species specifically unique
to the summit: the Roraima Bush Toad. Small, textured, and stealthy, this toad blends
in perfectly with the plateau as even its croak resembles the sound of dripping water,
a tune that’s common on the humid peak. Number 12. Sima Humboldt & Sima Martel
Not far from the towering grace of Mount Roraima are the treacherous sinkholes of Sima Humboldt
and Sima Martel. These two enormous sinkholes are well known
for their size, state and circumstance of formation. Sitting atop Sarisariñama , a large flat-top
mountain known as a tepui , these two sinkholes are not only surrounded by forest but carpeted
with vegetation and wildlife at their base as well. The sinkholes boast volumes up to 640 million
cubic feet, with nearly a 100-story drop from the top to the bottom. Research in the 1970s uncovered the truth
that the tepui is made of quartzite and the erosive nature of the mineral lead to these
sinkholes, as well as cave formations across the mountain. Studying this process has helped scientists
research the nature of the erosive process of quartzite for decades as even today the
tepui is sealed off to non-scientific visitors. Number 11. Easter Island
Settled by the easternmost Polynesian tribe known as the people of Rapa Nui , Easter Island
is most well known for the stonework they left behind. The Rapa Nui people used different types of
stone in their work pulling from the natural resources of the island for basalt, obsidian,
scoria and more. From this rock they crafted many items, glyphs,
buildings, and, of course, the iconic moai statues characterized by their large oblong
shaped heads and rigid expressions. The island itself maintains a relatively low
population at 91 people per square mile, however it is extremely remote for its size with every
nearby island at least 1,200 miles away! Number 10. Galápagos Islands
One of the more well-known locations on this list, the famed Galápagos Islands are home
to some of the most varied and unique wildlife in the world. This archipelago of volcanic isles is a part
of Ecuador and hosts 18 main islands of at least 1 square kilometer in size. For those unfamiliar, this chain of islands
played a major role in the work of biologist Charles Darwin as the extreme environments
of each island provided realtime proof for variation in a species’ evolutionary path. Some of the creatures that assisted with this
find include different species of finches, ranging from the Woodpecker finch to the Vampire
finch, and the Galápagos tortoise, a massive reptile that lives for up to 150 years or
more! Number 9. Supai
Down in the American Southwest, there’s still a town that has mail delivered by mule. Settled at the bottom of the Grand Canyon,
the town of Supai is the capital of the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the most remote community
in 48 states. With a population of only a couple hundred
as of the last census, this town is a living relic of the old west combined with native
Havasupai culture. Due to its remote location, this place can
only be accessed by foot, mule, or helicopter. Unfortunately this town being in the Grand
Canyon makes it dangerously close to the rivers and creeks that also line the canyon floor. In times of rainstorms, Supai has gotten hit
with floods so bad that the tribe has had to close the town to visitors for up to a
year at a time as repairs to the bridges and trail are made. Between 2008 and 2011, Supai was closed to
outsiders for nearly 2 years! Number 8. Lake Baikal
The Siberian region of Russia is primarily characterized by harsh, long winters, giving
the mental image of a barren frozen tundra. On the contrary, Siberia hides away one of
the largest lakes in the world and a forested, lively ecology that revolves around it. With 23% of the planet’s freshwater supply,
this massive lake dwarfs the North American Great Lakes in volume. Sitting much thinner than the expansive width
of Lake Superior, Lake Baikal is a rift lake formed by the shifting of tectonic plates,
resulting in an extremely deep and secluded body of water. In addition to being the world’s deepest lake
it is also thought to be the world’s oldest lake, estimated to be nearly 30 million years
old. A pillar of the local ecological development,
the area surrounding Lake Baikal features nearly 1,000 species of plants and more than
2,500 species of animals, over 80% of which are endemic to the region. Number 7. Oymyakon
This small Russian town has a population of only about 500 people and located in an area
known by locals as “Stalin’s Death Ring.” The village boasts the lowest temperature
recorded by a permanently-inhabited settlement at -96° Fahrenheit. Blanketed in a fresh layer of never-melting
snow, the town consistently looks more like a gingerbread sculpture than a real place
on any given day. The inhabitants of Oymyakon live in darkness
for 21 hours a day, without indoor plumbing, and subsist on a diet of reindeer meat and
frozen fish. Not quite the winter wonderland you might
want, but with everything covered in ice, it might just be the best view of the Northern
Lights on Earth. Number 6. Lake Vostok
Deep within the icy continent of Antarctica lie almost 400 subglacial lakes. But among all of them, only one reigns supreme:
Lake Vostok . At 160 miles in length, 30 miles in width, and 1,300 cubic miles in volume,
Vostok only ranks in at the 6th largest lake by volume and the 16th largest by surface
area. Size alone didn’t earn Vostok a place on this
list, but rather the 13,000 ft. of ice that separate the lake from the rest of the world,
with the lake itself sitting 1,600 ft. below sea level. As such, some scientists believe the actual
water of Lake Vostok to have been isolated for 15 to 25 million years! Scientists have used Lake Vostok as a focal
point for unlocking information in biology and space travel. Through deep ice core drilling, researchers
have been able to access and find microorganisms from within the lake, matching species we
have here elsewhere on Earth. The main goal of many of these researchers
is to find evidence of the ability to survive on a subglacial lake as scientists believe
Jupiter’s and Saturn’s moons, Europa and Enceladus respectively, will have subglacial lakes as
well. Number 5. Raja Ampat
An archipelago in the northwest corner of Indonesia, Raja Ampat has been referred to
as a species factory of sorts. Hosting a beautiful beach isle backdrop, the
powerful deep-sea currents of Raja Ampat provide bountiful nutrients to the local fauna. The archipelago’s rich biodiversity is a relatively
new discovery, with conservation efforts only beginning in 2001. Raja Ampat , which translates to The Four
Kings, is located in the Coral Triangle, the core of the planet’s coral reef biodiversity. Among the islands, Raja Ampat is the most
biodiverse, thus making it the most diverse coral reef ecosystem in the world. Number 4. Mount Bosavi
Composed of the collapsed cone of a volcano, Mount Bosavi looks more like a small circular
mountain range than a singular mountain. This large green summit has a crater approximately
two and a half miles wide and half a mile deep. Acting as a landmark for four nearby tribes
known as the Kaluli, the Ologo, the Walulu and the Wisesi, the local groups refer to
themselves collectively as the Bosavi Kalu, or people of Bosavi . Not limited to peoples,
the mountain also is home to a number of endemic creatures such as specific species of frogs,
fish, bats and rats. While the list is currently small for endemic
creatures, the expedition that uncovered them was only launched in 2009. There is still much research to be done in
this area of Papua New Guinea. Number 3. Cape Melville
Surrounded by a field of granite boulders, this isolated bit of rainforest atop the Melville
mountain range has remained unphased by annual brushfires. As a result, many animal species within Cape
Melville are believed to have remained preserved for millions of years. This rainforest has scientists excited as
the first documented exploration of the forestrange came just recently in 2013. In their research, scientists discovered a
handful of new species including the leaf-tailed gecko, the blotched boulder-frog, and the
foxtail palm. In addition to these new species, Cape Melville
is right in the middle of crocodile country as nearby beaches, creeks, and more act as
home to the ridge-backed reptiles. In some ways, this might be the only “Lost
World” on this list crawling with dinosaurs! Number 2. Son Doong Cave
In the Quang Binh province of Central Vietnam, a cave the size of a Boeing jet airliner sat
hidden from the world until supposedly first discovered in 1990. But the man who claimed to have found it,
a local named Ho Khanh, couldn’t figure out how to get back. So it wasn’t until 2008 when the same local
rediscovered it, and then 2009 when Khanh guided the first expedition there, that it
became publicly known as Hang Son Doong , or “Mountain River Cave.” Estimated to be around 3 million years old,
the cave is estimated to be the largest cave in the world. Standing 200 meters tall and 150 meters wide,
and stretching 5 kilometers in length, this cave is large enough to fit a small college
town into, buildings, vehicles and all. It even has stalagmites that reach 80 meters
in height, the tallest in the world! Number 1. Socotra
Part of a larger Archipelago of the same name, Socotra is an island off the coasts of Yemen
and Somalia near the Arabian Sea. This island is known as the heart of biodiversity
in the Arabian Sea, offering an almost alien landscape due to its unique flora and fauna. The plant life on Socotra has especially strange
qualities. The dragonblood tree, for example, features
prickly spines similar to those of a pine tree, however its gnarled and close-knit branches
build a muddled web of wood that creates something wholly unique. Heavily isolated with a mostly tropical desert
climate, Socotra is a haven for reptiles with more than 30 endemic species found on this
one island. Historical records indicate it may have been
home to even more reptiles of larger size, but consistent attempts at settlement on the
island and the introduction of foreign species have changed the environment too drastically
for them to subsist.

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21 thoughts on “Earth’s STRANGEST Lost Worlds

  1. I really want to be a explorer like old times when all remote areas were uncharted and a blank in the map. Who wants to join me in a expedition to this lost worlds? Let's putt our explorer hat and find the Land That Time Forgot

  2. we found something so good your eyes would pop out. im not going say it here dont want them in power to come and take it from us . keep looking people there is still so much to find out there

  3. Technically a "relic" is the remains of a significant person (often a religious figure). Some examples are hair, bone and blood.

  4. had to stop watching after you call lake baikal byecool . how hard is it to look it up if you dont know how to pronounce something

  5. I currently live in the rain forests very close to Roraima… and I have never seen it.
    Will make a point of going there on a clear day… not many clear days.

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