The Happy Nomad

Top Natural Wonders Of The World: The Legends Behind Them

The modern world is packed with wonderful places, from dynamic cities, to areas rich with contemporary art and culture. Nature, too, is full of awe-inspiring beaches, woodlands and countryside, places that make for relaxing treks or more ambitious adventures. But somewhere between these, you can find another type of place. The kind of area that is mostly natural, but has become defined by the stories told over time. These are top natural wonders, that myths are made of – and this new series of illustrations from HomeToGo might just inspire you to go and witness them in person.

The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia (Cappadocia, Turkey)

The ‘fairy chimneys’ of the Anatolia region in Turkey, appear to have been constructed by a whole other species. The actual explanation for their existence is that they are formed by two different densities of volcanic rock – and as the outer layer eroded away, the tougher parts remained. In Roman times, Christian refugees came upon them and transformed them into homes and churches.

 

The Sleeping Ute (Colorado, USA)

The Ute Tribe of the region believe their local mountain range to be the reclining figure of the Great Warrior God Ute, who is sleeping off his battle injuries. Look carefully at Ute’s head (the Marble Mountain), folded arms (Ute Peak), rib-cage, knees (Hermano Mountain) and toes.

 

The Giant’s Causeway (County Antrim, Northern Ireland)

Today’s explanation for the enormous hexagonal rock columns that form the Giant’s Causeway may be enough for some people. It was actually formed from cooling lava from a nearby volcanoe eruption. But for those who want the legend behind the rocks,  you’ll need to turn to Finn McCool and Benandonner. Benandonner was a Scottish giant who threatened Ireland; Finn, the Irish giant responded by throwing chunks of coastline into the sea, to form a path to Scotland. If you think that sounds pretty macho, think again. Finn discovered that Benandonner was a lot bigger than he imagined, and hotfooted it back to Ireland as quick as he could – followed by Benandonner. But by the time the Scottish giant arrived, Finn’s wife had disguised him as a baby. This lead Benandonner to think: if this is the size of the baby, the daddy must be huge!

 

The Shelter of the Gods (Asbrygi Canyon, Iceland)

The cliffs of Asbrygi Canyon are one of Iceland’s most astonishing top natural wonders, and come with one of the most epic of mythological explanations. The curved valley in the shadow of the cliffs is no less than the footprint of Odin’s eight-hoofed horse, Sleipnir. What a whopper he must have been! Still, it does rather leave you wondering where the other hooves fell – unless his legs were so long that he used Iceland as a mere leaping pad.

 

The Giant’s Tears of Salar de Uyuni (Potosi, Bolivia)

We end on a love story. Tunapa and Kuska were giants, a married couple who lived in Potosi, but the relationship fell apart when Kuska ran away with their neighbor, Kusina. Tunapa’s giant tears were enough to flood the plain which later dried, which left the vast expanse of salt that you can find there today. The less sentimental explanation is that water from the mountains had nowhere else to go. As a result, forming a giant lake with high salinity. As the Andean sun grew hotter, the lake eventually evaporated, leaving the infinite salt pot we find there today.


Do you know of any Top Natural Wonders? Let us know in the comments below!