10 Wonders that You Thought Were Natural but are Man-made
Most natural wonders of our world put us in awe. While we tend to take Mother Nature for granted, natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or the Sand Dunes in South Africa compel us to think of A Creator of such masterpieces. But, did you know that there are some wonders in this world that may seem natural, but in reality, are man-made? We are talking about gigantic places or surreal phenomena that were actually created by man. Mankind has an indirect or direct hand in creating some astonishing wonders that anyone would otherwise consider natural. In this section, we shall cover 10 wonders that you probably thought were natural but are man-made.
1 Glass Beach, California
What appears like colorful stones are actually polished glass pieces dumped at the beach site! Located in Mackerricher State Park in Fort Bragg, the Glass Beach in California was once a trash dumpsite of the city. For around 60 years from the 1900s to 1960s, the residents in California dumped every bit of trash including glass bottles, cans, and other debris over the cliffs and into the ocean below.
The dumpsite was closed in 1967, and several cleanup programs were undertaken to remove the debris. Biodegradable items were left to degrade, and metal and other items were removed and sold as scrap. The pounding waves broke down glass and pottery and transformed them into smooth, polished pieces of stone that resemble glass.
Over the years, the trash took a surprising new form and emerged from the sea in bits and pieces of smooth and polished sea glass. This coastline has now become a famous tourist spot on the northern side of California. You can even visit the “sea glass” museum here.
This beach is a rare example of man’s wrong deeds turning out right. Today, it is illegal to take any sea glass from the beach, but this has not stopped tourists from taking small amounts of sea glass home. Because of this, the stock of sea glass is continuously being depleted, and it is nowhere near to what it used to be once upon a time! (1, 2)
2 Fly Geyser, Nevada
The Fly Geyser of Nevada is not natural, but an accidental wonder. This, the first man-made geyser emerged in 1916 on a piece of land owned by the Burning Man Project. Residents had drilled a well to find irrigation water and found a geyser instead.
The project was swiftly abandoned after the residents found the water to be too hot. Then in 1964, another geyser started emerging when a geothermal power company drilled a test well on the same site.
After finding the water hot again, they abandoned this project too but left it improperly plugged. Soon after, water emerged from the hole and calcium carbonate deposits began to form nearby. These deposits grew several inches every year.
The resultant growth today is a beautiful, multicolored formation because of the calcium carbonate deposits and the algae growing on the outer rock. The formation has three cone-like structures that spew hot water into the air.
Some careless mistakes are done in the past lead to remarkable results in the future. These Fly Geysers are a classic example of this truth. Today, this spot has become a famous tourist place. Although none of the drilling companies could seek any irrigation water from here, they did manage to create a beautiful man-made phenomenon. (1, 2)
3 The Providence Canyon
The Little Grand Canyon or the Providence Canyon located in Atlanta, Georgia is an accidental man-made wonder. The State Park in Atlanta houses this lovely, colorful canyon. Although it is listed in the seven natural wonders of the state, it is hardly natural! This man-made gorge is the result of poor farming practices in the early 1800s.
What happened was that farmers began clearing the unused and inexpensive land by cutting down native trees. This resulted in soil erosion. This land was degraded because of a mix of plantations and sharecropping. Deep gullies became prevalent in the land which are today almost 150 feet deep.
Although the topsoil was eroded and the land was rendered infertile, this area has today become a hotspot for tourists. Visitors come here for camping and hiking along the trails that travel around the rim and to the floor of the canyon. Geologists also frequently visit this site to study the exposed sediments and formations. (1, 2)
4 Plain of Jars, Laos
The Xieng Khouang Province in Laos, Southeast Asia, has an unusual site where thousands of megalithic stone jars are found scattered on the ground. The site is popularly called “Plain of Jars” which is translated from “Thong Hai Hin” in Laotian. These are in groups of one to hundreds. It is believed that these jars were placed as early as 1240 to 660 BCE.
There are various theories explaining the stone jars, with some saying that these cylindrical containers were used in ancient funeral ceremonies, while some saying that they were used to make rice wine for giants. Some jars have lids, and all of them have a wider bottom than the top. They range from three to ten feet in height and are made from sedimentary rocks.
The Xieng Khouang Province remains a mystical land today as geologists and researchers have found several other interesting remains in the nearby areas. If you are visiting Laos, you must visit this ancient place and delve into its mysterious sights. (1, 2)
5 Tunnel Of Love – Walk Amidst The Greenery
The Industrial Railway section of Ukraine has an interesting, leafy-green tunnel-like structure that is actually man-made. This tunnel is three to five kilometers in length. The line starts at Klevan Station and connects to the northern area of Orzhiv.
The entire railway line is covered by green arches that give it a leafy-tunnel look. It is a dreamy little place that seems out of a fairy tale. Couples love to take their morning strolls in this green tunnel. It is one of the most photographed places in Ukraine, and visitors travel from all over to see this popular tree tunnel in the town of Klevan.
The tunnel is today neatly trimmed thanks to the prosperous business it gives, but once upon a time, it is believed that it was created by man to escape the depressing circumstances of the cold war. (1, 2)
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