12 Amazing Places Most Millennials Will NEVER See

The world is full of magical hidden wonders. Need proof? The talented team at Atlas Obscura spent the past five years working on a gorgeous, 480-page book that uncovers 600 of the strangest, most fascinating, and downright bizarre places you've never heard of before.

We asked Atlas Obscura cofounder Dylan Thuras to pare down the tome to a list of a dozen mind-blowing spots that every millennial should visit. From a UFO-shaped monument in the middle of the Balkans to a gigantic hole in Turkmenistan that has been on fire for nearly 50 years, prepare to be amazed and delighted by the curiosities he came back with — and pick up a copy of the new book for even more bucket-list inspiration.
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Photo: Courtesy of Christine Noh.
Kjeragbolten, Kjerag Mountain, Norway
"Looking like something from Middle Earth, Kjeragbolten is hidden in the Norwegian mountains: a rock stuck between two cliffs above a 984-meter deep abyss. Brave visitors have been known to photograph themselves on the rock."
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Photo: Courtesy of Tim Whitby.
The Gates of Hell, Derweze, Turkmenistan
"If Atlas Obscura has a mascot, it might be the Gates of Hell. This 200-foot hole in the desert was created in 1971 when a Soviet drilling rig fell into a massive natural cavern. The scientists decided it was best to let the natural gas leaking from the hole burn itself off, so they lit it on fire. It has been burning for 45 years."
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Photo: Courtesy of Clifford Norton.
Buzludzha Monument, Kzanlak, Bulgaria
"This huge UFO-shaped monument standing proudly at the top of a hill in the Balkan mountains was once a grand tribute to the Bulgarian Communist Party. No more. Once Bulgaria transitioned to democracy in the early 1990s, the monument was promptly abandoned. It has stood since, falling further and further into disrepair, and is now a strange, hulking shell, stripped of its once-grand interior. Graffiti on the front reads 'Forget your past.'"
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Photo: Courtesy of Martin Norris Travel Photography.
Crystal Maiden, San Ignacio, Belize
"Beautiful, horrifying, tragic, and fascinating, the Crystal Maiden is the calcified skeleton of a young woman who was sacrificed by the Maya [around] 700-900 CE. Her body was left in a cave that was believed to be an entrance to the underworld, as an offering to the gods. [She was] only 18 years [old] at the time of her death. Over the last 1,200 years, her bones have formed a layer [of] crystals, which sparkle in the light."
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Photo: Courtesy of demerzel21.
Kolmanskop Ghost Town, Luderitz, Namibia
"Once a thriving diamond mine in the 1920s, it was home to a flapper-era theater, casino, and even bowling alley. Of course, once a richer diamond mine was discovered, the town was abandoned and is now slowly being swallowed by the sand."
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Photo: Courtesy of MJ Photography.
Stepwells Of India, Across Northern & Western India
"These incredible architectural masterpieces call to mind M.C. Escher illustrations. Hundreds of carved stone steps lead down to water; these were built to serve as local sources of water. A French traveler in 1864 described seeing a 'vast sheet of water, covered with lotuses in flower, amid which thousands of aquatic birds are sporting.' Built as early as 550 A.D. and through the medieval period, there are over 3,000 stepwells throughout India."
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Photo: Courtesy of SoulAD.
Wisteria Tunnel, Kitakyushu, Japan
"Blooming from late April to mid May in the Kawachi Fuji Gardens near Kitakyushu, Japan, is an exquisite tunnel draped in flowers. There are other flower tunnels in the world, but the Wisteria Tunnel in Japan is singular in its romantic beauty."
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Photo: Courtesy of Jaszmina Szendrey.
Fingal's Cave, Isle Of Staffa, Scotland
"On the Scottish island of Staffa is an unusual sea cave, 270 feet deep. The walls of this sea cave are perfect hexagonal columns. Formed by ancient lava flows, the striking site has become something of an artistic inspiration. It is the basis of a famous classical work, the name of a Pink Floyd song, and the location of a Matthew Barney 'Cremaster' video."
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Photo: Courtesy of Templi dell’Umanità Association.
The Temple of Damanhur, Pramarzo, Italy
"For 15 years, a group of young Italians worked around the clock, digging deep into a hillside. All non-architects working at night and in secret, they carved an enormous underground temple. The temple, which is covered in mosaic and murals, has many large rooms with 25-foot ceilings, is spread over five levels, and is connected by hundreds of meters of tunnel. Today, a New Age spiritual community (some say cult) still lives and works there. They allow visits and even overnight stays."
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Photo: Courtesy of Carsten Peter/Speleoresearch & Films/National Geographic.
Giant Crystals Of Naica, Naica, Mexico
"Discovered in 2000, the Crystals of Naica are an otherworldly site. Measuring up to 39 feet long, these massive crystals grew over half a million years, filling this underground space. Previously submerged, the cave is 125˚F and up to 99% humidity, so explorers have to wear special ice-cold cooling suits to enter, and even so, can only stay in the cave for 45 minutes at a time."
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Photo: Courtesy of imageBROKER.
The Last Handwoven Bridge, Apurimac Canyon, Peru
"I was lucky enough to be able to travel here and visit and walk across the bridge. It represents a basically unbroken connection to the great Incan road system that once spanned 40 thousand kilometers in South America. It is a beautiful place, with a profound historical connection."
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Photo: Courtesy of Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg.
The World’s Largest Drain, Kasukabe, Japan
"Underneath the streets of the outskirts of Tokyo is a series of massive concrete cathedrals. Part of the G-Cans project, they are a series of super-massive drains, with miles of tunnels, 59 huge pillars holding up the 83-foot-tall ceilings, and 21 concrete silos that are the size of skyscrapers. The drains can pump four and a half Olympic swimming pools' worth of water through them every minute. To a visitor's eyes, they look less like infrastructure and more like some kind of soaring basilica."
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