5 Magical Places You’ll Never Believe Are Real

The wonders of nature never cease to amaze.

By Beth Dreher
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    A forest full of rainbow trees

    Indigenous to Indonesia and the Philippines, the rainbow eucalyptus looks like something out of a fairytale. New bark on this constantly shedding tree starts off green. As the bark ages, its hue changes to dark green, blue, purple, pink, and finally red before falling off.

    A park where the mushrooms glow

    During the day, tiny mushrooms that grow in Ribeira Valley Tourist State Park near Sao Paulo, Brazil, and other tropical locations, look unassuming. But after dark, the fungi literally shine. These bioluminescent mushrooms, known as foxfire, get their glowing power from a chemical reaction between the plant and the decaying wood on which they grow.

    Wikimedia Commons

    A city that has speed bumps in the sky

    Take a look overhead in Burketown, Queensland in Australia from late September to early November and you're likely to see a series of long tubular white clouds streaking the sky. These morning glory clouds, as they're called, can cause dangerous turbulence for airplanes, but pilots of gliders flock to the area to "ride" these mysterious clouds.

    Sue Daly/Sark Tourism

    An island devoted to star gazers

    With no public street lights, paved roads, or cars, the tiny island of Sark (pop. 600), off the northwest coast of France in the English Channel, is one of the darkest places in the world. When night falls, millions of stars appear, meteors streak overhead and the Milky Way is visible from horizon to horizon.

    Courtesy NIWA

    A beach where the tide flows red

    The red tides that occur nearly every summer along Florida's gulf coast (and on coastlines around the world) look like something out of a horror movie. The phenomenon, known to scientists as harmful algal blooms, occur when colonies of algae grow out of control, killing scores of fish, manatees, and birds each year.

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