Do you ever feel stuck? Like your whole world is a little too small? Well good news, we’ve collected a few of the most awe-inspiring views that will make you realize the world is actually a magnificent, vast expanse and you’re the itty, bitty one! Take a look at these 13 huge places that will leave you feeling small.
1. Meteora, Greece
Meteora translates to “middle of the sky” or “suspended in the air”, which gives you an idea of how surreal this natural phenomenon in Thessaly, Greece, is. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Meteora is made up of monolithic pillars and huge boulders erupting from the ground, with monasteries impressively balanced on top.
2. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Millions of years old, Uluru and Kata Tjuta are huge red rocks and domes made of sandstone that dominate the landscape in the desolate Northern Territory’s Australian Outback. What makes them even more fascinating and larger than life is how sacred the formations are to aborigines in the area, with mystical stories and myths surrounding each curve and crevice.
Tree-hugging takes on a whole new meaning with these giants. The four parks that make up Redwood National and State Parks in California protect 45% of the remaining coast redwood (sequoia) trees, which can grow over 100 metres tall – slightly longer than a football field – and up to seven metres in diameter.
This southernmost continent is the largest desert in the world (that’s right, deserts don’t have to be sand) and is the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered and colonised by humans. On top of that, it’s the coldest, driest and windiest continent, so the untouched force of nature is something to behold.
5. Moon Hill, China
This rock formation, located south of Yangshuo in China, was once a limestone cave, but now has a characteristic semicircular hole through it, hence the name Moon Hill. It’s possible to climb the summit of the hill, which offers extensive panoramic views of Yangshuo’s surrounding karst hills.
6. Hang Son Dong Cave, Vietnam
This place has caused multiple jaws to drop on social media, and for good reason. Hang Son Doong cave is the largest in the world, at more than 200 metres high, 150 metres wide and 5 km long. In fact, it’s so big that it has its own jungle and river inside of it.
7. The Alps
The highest mountain range in all of Europe, The Alps stretch across eight countries: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia and Switzerland. The range includes the infamous mountains of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn and is a great location for skiing, made even more thrilling by the incredible views.
8. Na Pali Coast, USA
If the Na Pali coast looks somewhat familiar, it might be because of its appearance in Jurassic Park. The rugged yet dramatic nature of this part of Hawaii, on the island of Kauai, is exactly the kind of place you could imagine feeling dwarfed by dinosaurs. Luckily, you can visit to gawk at the nature of the place and not feel threatened by a rampaging T-Rex.
9. The Sahara Desert
The third largest desert in the world, the Sahara is comparable in size to the area of the United States and covers much of North Africa, including Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia. For miles and miles, huge sand dunes are the only thing the eye can see, giving a magical but intimidating appearance.
10. Norwegian Fjords
In Norway lies an intricate labyrinth of over one thousand fjords, UNESCO-protected and exquisitely beautiful. The most iconic are the Naeroyfjord, Sognefjord and Geirangerfjord and encompass the typical blue, still water and majestic cliffs they are famous for. You can explore the fjords in a number of ways, by kayak, boat or hiking the mountains.
11. Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rockies mountain range, spanning the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia in the west of the country, are well known for their stunning vistas of impressive peaks and turquoise lakes. There are plenty of hikes in the area which make for a humbling experience, including the classics, such as Moraine Lake and Peyto Lake.
12. Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
The Avenue of the Baobabs is a group of baobab trees that line a dirt road in the Menabe region of western Madagascar. These odd-looking trees and the minimal landscape that surrounds them looks striking and unique to Madagascar. Baobab trees can live up to 800 years old and the ones that line this avenue are 30 metres in height.
13. The Open Ocean
If you’ve ever been diving or seen a documentary on the marine life, you’ll know that the open ocean can be a terrifyingly large and mysterious but beautiful place – after all, the earth is 70% made up of water. Underwater, you’ll be surrounded in a blue abyss and can encounter gentle giants like blue whales and whale sharks. If you go deep enough, there are curious luminous monsters and potentially even the fabled kraken.