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Seven alien landscapes that can be found right here on Earth

Find Your Forecast
    Cheryl Santa Maria
    Digital Reporter

    Thursday, April 10, 2014, 6:41 PM -

    Yesterday, we showed you five strange images from NASA.

    It's a weird universe, but you don't have to travel far to find space-like oddities.

    Here are seven alien landscapes that you can find right here on Earth.

    1. Cheltenhan Badlands, Caledon, Ontario

    Photo courtesy of Joe DeSousa/Flickr

    At first glance this image could be mistaken for something beamed back to Earth by the Mars Curiosity Rover.

    But, in reality, the Cheltehan badlands are located about 45 minutes outside of Toronto.

    This formation is the result of environmentally unfriendly farming practices that took places in the 1930s, causing the soil to erode and expose the shale rock underneath.

    RELATED: Seven frigid planets

    Iron oxide deposits are what give the land its reddish hue. Green streaks can be contributed to an interaction with ground water, turning the red iron oxide green.

    This area was acquired by the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 2000 and is currently managed by the Bruce Trail Association.

    2. Devon Island, Baffin Bay, Nunavut

    Photo courtesy: Mars on Earth, via NASA

    Speaking of Mars, the terrain found on Nunavut’s Devon Island is incredibly similar to the Red planet's. In fact, NASA scientists regularly use it to test Mars rovers.

    This area is the permanent home of the Haughton-Mars project.

    Devon Island is believed to be the largest uninhabited island in the world.

    3. Salar de Uyuni, Potosí and Oruro, Bolivia

    Photo courtesy: Funkz/Flickr

    We could stare at pictures of this incredible landscape all day.

    Measuring 10,582 square kilometers,  it's the largest salt flat on the planet.

    Salar de Uyuni contains a mind-boggling 10 billion tonnes of salt.

    It's the end result of prehistoric lakes settling into the area, which has no drainage, leaving a thick crust of salt behind as they evaporated.

    During the wet season, the flat is covered with a thin layer of water – transforming it, essentially, into a giant mirror.

    Check it out:

    Photo courtesy: Wikipedia


    4. Iceland

    Photo courtesy: Victor Montol/Flickr

    Iceland’s landscapes are often described as “alien worlds”, and for good reason.

    Home to auroras, a “midnight sun” during the summer months, and a seemingly never-ending stretch of stunning, frozen landscapes, Iceland is truly out of this world.

    RELATED: Check out more incredible aurora photos

    Upon photographing the country’s landscape from above, Andrey Ermolaev said:

    “Every time they see [my photos], people react differently. The landscape seem so strange that I’ve gotten all sorts of reactions from people. Because, really, you can’t tell you’re looking at the Earth the first time you see the pictures. Many think they’re some sort of painting.”

    5. Rio Tinto, southwestern Spain

    Both photos courtesy of MaxPower/Flickr

    The Rio Tinto in southwestern Spain has been mined for precious minerals for centuries, namely: copper, silver and gold.

    The river is acidic enough to dissolve iron, contributing to the water’s reddish tint.

    6. The grand prismatic spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A.

    A lot of you were interested in last week’s profile on Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring, so we thought it deserved an honourable mention.

    Discovered by geologists in 1871, it is the third largest hot spring in the world with a diameter of 90 metres and a depth of 50 metres.

    The colourful spectrum is the result of pigmented bacteria in microbial mats that form around the edges of the spring, and the amount of colour the bacteria produces depends on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids present and the temperature of the water, which varies with the seasons.

    RELATED: Learn more about Yellowstone’s grand prismatic spring

    7. Pamukkale, Turkey

    Photo courtesy

    Pamukkale,which translates to "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site containing hot springs, travertines and carbon terraces in southwestern Turkey.

    Located in an area that has a temperate climate for most of the year, Pamukkale is a huge tourist draw.

    In fact, it has been attracting crowds for thousands of years.

    Do you have other-worldly photos that you’d like to share? Upload them to our website. We’d love to feature your work on TV and our website!

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