13 Places With Optical Illusions Around the World

By Rohin Raj on Mar 01, 2016
* Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and book something (there is never any extra cost to you for using these links).

Albert Einstein famously said "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Well, who can argue with the words of one of the most intelligent men in recent history? All we can manage to do is to take a look at some of the most splendid optical illusions that Mother Nature bequeathed to us and get amazed and bewildered at the beauty and intricacy with which she does her work.

Here are some of the breathtaking places with optical illusions around the world you must see before you die:

Underwater Rainfall

places with optical illusions

Image Source: topnews.ru

At the very edge of the island of Mauritius, sand has deposited along the coast, such that it looks like a huge crevasse is present along with a waterfall running underwater! It is a sight unlike any other and a must watch for waterfall enthusiasts.

Horsetail Fall

Horsetail Fall - optical illusions around the world

Image Source: Jay Huang/flickr.com

Adele wasn’t kidding when she was talking about Setting Fire to the Rain. The Horsetail Falls in Yosemite National Park, California literally appears as if it’s on fire when rays of the setting sun hit it at the right angle, making it glow golden-red. It usually occurs in February when the weather conditions are just right and are truly a sight to behold.

Salar de Uyuni

Image Source: Wikimedia.org

Bolivia has the world’s largest salt flat expanse which is really unusually flat and devoid of almost any flora or fauna. A lack of a point of reference and the high amount of salt content make an ideal background for fancy pictures and illusions. A must visit for people in the mood for a different kind of holiday adventure.

River Tree

River Tree

Image Source: nationalgeographic.com

Nah, that’s neither a tree nor a cup of cappuccino with an intricate pattern. In the Baja California area of Mexico, rivers have dried up because of overuse and climatic changes. Though a sad case, still it has created some marvelous natural patterns that are eerily similar to a dead tree. A visit to Mexico is not complete without witnessing this phenomenon first-hand.

Planning a Latin-American Holiday? Book your Accomodation using TripHobo's Hotel Booking Feature.

Brocken Spectre

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Though it looks like it, but the Broken Spectre is not a ghost at all. It is actually a giant magnified shadow or silhouette of an observer who is standing at the edge and whose shadow is cast upon a cloud opposite to the Sun. Though the phenomenon can occur anywhere, it is best observed at the Brocken peak in Germany, where it is constantly foggy.

Apache Head

Apache Head

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Though the Red Indians never reached France but still they managed to leave an imprint on the soil. A particular rock formation in the Ebihens is the Apache Head. It resembles an Apache warrior with full headgear and ready for a hunt.

Want to view more activities in France? Visit TripHobo's Tours and Activities page to plan an amazing French Holiday.

Camel Thorn Tree Painting

Camel Thorn Tree Painting

Image Source: jiaren.org

This picture above looks like it’s a masterpiece artwork by some renowned Renaissance painter. Sorry to disappoint all of you, but it’s just a picture taken at the perfect time from a perfect spot. The setting sun, dead trees and rocky red dunes make it look artificial to one’s eyes. You will have to visit Namibia’s Coastal Parks to snap one for your very own collection.

The Wave

Image Source: Daniel Knieper/flickr.com

The Wave is a wavelike sandstone rock formation in the Colorado Plateau of Arizona which makes your depth perception sensors go bonkers! The formations make up a photographers and hikers paradise because of its undulating-colorful forms. But for preservation purposes there is a long waiting line to visit the The Wave, so be sure to make reservations in advance.

Green Flash

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

It is an optical phenomenon which occurs usually just before sunrise or after sunset in which a green spot becomes visible above the upper rim of the sun. It occurs just for a second or two thus called a ‘flash’. Hawaii is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of the Flash. Like we needed another reason to visit Honolulu.

Want to see more of beautiful Hawaii? Here is a list of Things to do in Honolulu

Sun Dogs

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Sun Dogs or Phantom Suns are atmospheric phenomenon and member of a family of halos that appear as 2 subtly colored patches of light to the left and right of the Sun. Stockholm in Sweden is one of the prime places to view this rare and beautiful phenomenon.

Fallstreak Hole

Image Source: ppelafayette.org

It may look as if the clouds have cleared a path for Zeus to come thundering down to Earth, but a Fallstreak Hole is just another rare phenomenon that occurs due to a difference in temperature of the clouds. Though there isn’t any specific place where this phenomenon occurs, but one has a high chance of witnessing a Hole in the Australian skies. It has also a high rate of being mistaken for a U.F.O. floating in the sky. A ride to Mars, anyone?

Create your very own detailed Australian Holiday Adventure using TripHobo's Smart Itinerary Planner.

Jacob’s Well

Image Source: Kashif Pathan/flickr.com

At first sight the drop seems to be hundreds of feet down and sends a chill down ones spine. But the actual height of the drop is just 3 feet and Jacob’s Well is a karstic spring in Wimberley, Texas which serves as a very popular swimming and diving point. It also serves as a spot for clicking pictures that might just scare your parents witless. Happy Birthday Mom. Just kidding.

Magnetic Hill

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Sorry to break your hearts Ladakh bound travelers, but though it looks like an actual phenomenon occurring in front of your eyes, the uphill rolling of vehicles is just an optical illusion. The layout of surrounding area and slopes creates a feeling as if the vehicle is rolling against the gravity uphill when in reality it just rolls downhill like on any slope. Still it is quite a cool experience to observe and the Magnetic Hill in Ladakh is an ideal place to witness the event firsthand.

Sadly because of changing climatic conditions and human interference many of these wonders are endangered and may cease to exist in a few years. All the more reason to pack up ASAP and plan a visit to witness Mother Nature’s marvels firsthand in all its glory.

You May Like to Read:

Lesser Known Travel Destinations

Mysterious Places on Earth

Related Articles