Just another installment of gorgeous photographs to (1) aggravate your travel itch and (2) remind you that this world of ours contains some mind-blowing natural wonders. To whet your appetite, in this Eastern European edition, we’ve got fairy chimneys, a “cotton castle,” a crooked forest, and a place nicknamed “Unicorn Cave.” Sound like a dream? Oh, it’s real. So real. Read/dream on.

[divider]The Photographs[/divider]

1. Göreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey

Y’all. These are legit called “fairy chimneys.” What. They are also known as a “hoodoos.” See this Wikipedia article for proof.
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2. Travertine Pools, Pamukkale, Turkey (Cotton Castle)

“Pamukkale” directly translates into “cotton castle,” and it’s pretty apparent why that is by looking at the photos. This region has hot springs and travertines (see Wikipedia again for an explanation of what the heck a “travertine” is). Basically, these are limestone terraces that you can bathe in. Get there. Also there are tadpoles in the pools. Cute!
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3. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Stunna.
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4. Devetashka Cave, Bulgaria

I loved this place until I learned that it was also home to nearly 30,000 bats.
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5. Dripstone Cave, Austria

AKA UNICORN CAVE.
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6. Bigar Cascade Falls, Romania

Who doesn’t love moss?
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7. The Crooked Forest, Poland

Yep, it’s a grove of crazy pine trees. About 400, total. Folks suspect that these trees, planted in 1930, were warped intentionally by a human to get naturally-curved timber, but I like to think that these trees just wanted to express their individuality. You go, pine trees. Be yourself. Together.
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8. Island of Urup, Russia

Uninhabited volcanic island in the northwest Pacific Ocean, NBD.

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9. “Lena’s Stone Pillars,” Russia

Gorgey.
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10. Lake Baikal, Russia

As these pictures prove, Lake Baikal is stunning in any season. Hey guess what? The ice is naturally turquoise.
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11. Meteora, Greece

Blah blah blah, I know that the monasteries themselves aren’t exactly “natural,” but this deserves to be on the list because…well hello, just look at that landscape.
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12. Melissani Cave, Kefalonia, Greece

BRB, gotta go find a boat.
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