When hearing the words “tourist attraction”, what does your mind picture? Nature, trees, amazing scenery, tall mountains, theme parks or even crystal clear beach resorts, right?
These are some places that immediately capture your attention. But, there are some tourist destinations that are, what we call somewhat ‘not-so attractive’ nor pleasing to the eyes. Below is a list of the weirdest and strangest tourist attractions in the world. Can you believe these are real!
1. Island Of The Dolls, Mexico
This tourist attraction is located in a small island between the canals of Xochimico just South of Mexico City. The island is popularly known as Isla de las Munecas.
Legend tells it that there was a girl who drowned mysteriously on the island many years ago. Julian, the caretaker of the island, was not able to save the little girl’s life. It is said that her spirits still roams the island through possessing the dolls.
Mysteriously, all Julian, the island caretaker, got from where the girl drowned was a floating doll. He hung the doll in one of the trees of the island as to pay respect to the little girl. Eventually, Julian was haunted by ‘some sort’ of spiritual force as he started to hang more dolls and seemed to act strange. As years passed, Julian was found dead and is believed that he now joins the circle of dolls, or shall we say spirits.
In 2001, the place had become a tourist attraction wherein tourist would visit and hang their own dolls on the trees.
2. The Park Of The Monsters
Also known as Parco dei Mostri, located in the Garden of Bomarzo, Italy, dates way back during the 16th century.
The brains, rather, heart, behind this work of art is Pier Francesco Orsini, also known as Vicino. The inspiration behind this weird attraction was his devastation when his wife died.
The monuments were designed not to please nor amaze visitors, but to shock them. All of the monuments do not have any sort of connection at all in terms of history or mythology.
The park is said to reflect the psychological state of Vicino after a life of heartbreak, political and social turmoil.
3. The Petrifying Well, England
This ancient well was previously called The Dropping Well. Millions of people have witnessed for themselves the magic of the Petrifying Well.
Long ago, during the time when Mother Shipton, Ursula Southeil, better known as Mother Shipton, is said to have been an English soothsayer and prophetess, was born, it is believed that the well had some supernatural powers to which, whoever or whatever comes into contact with the water gets turned into stone.
In 1630, Sir Charles Slingby bought the park from King Charles I. By that time, the well was very famous and known that it attracted a lot of tourists. It was so well-visited that he decided to charge money when people came to tour around.
A century and a half passed when science was able to explain this mystery that the well exhibits. It occurs that it contains very high levels of minerals that actually turns any object into stone… slowly.
As we speak, there are objects placed in the well that are being slowly petrified (changed into a stony substance).
4. The Great Guatemalan Sinkhole
This particular attraction was a beauty turned into a disaster. The 2010 Guatemala City Sinkhole is the latest occurrence of the said attraction. There was another one that happened during 2007, same type of incident but in a different location.
The 2010 Sinkhole tragedy swallowed a three-story factory approximately 300 ft deep and 60 ft wide. The factors that caused this to happen were a combination of a tropical storm, volcano eruption and sewer pipe leakages.
5. Thailand’s Hell Horror Park
It’s locally correct name is Wang Saen Suk Hell and it is hidden down on an abandoned and old road not far from Bangkok. This museum shows different scenes of the suffering in hell through obscene and grotesque Buddhist teachings.
The museum also explains what it takes to enter hell. The different punishments for different sins are also depicted at the museum. As you walk around, it somewhat shows a process you go through while being judged in hell.
6. Victoria’s Way Indian Sculpture Park
A garden filled with eccentric sculptures that were crafted by a man from India now they populate the lands of Ireland. The sculptures are dedicated to Alan Turing, the man who had weird visions to which are now depicted through the sculptures. This collection of sculptures took 20 years to finish.
7. The Odeillo Solar Furnace
The Odeillo Solar surface is the largest solar surface in the world. It is 177 ft tall and 157 ft wide. It consists of 10,000 mirrors that concentrate the sun’s rays in order to generate solar power.
8. Mount Athos Monastery
The Zograf Monastery is situated on the top of Mount Athos, the “Holy Mountain”, in Greece. The Monastery is named after Saint George the Zograf, a century icon between the 13th and 14th century.
Women are banned from visiting the place because it is believed that they might negatively intervene with the monks’ journey towards spiritual enlightenment.
9. Temple Of Rats, India
This attraction is literally a temple filled with rats. History tells, that goddess Karni believed that her family would endlessly live by reincarnating as rats after death.
As a matter of fact, there are almost 20,000 of rats inside the temple which, the locals believe, is now the population of the goddess’ family growing as the time passes. The rats are welcome to the Temple and are considered sacred. They are taken care of and provided with food.
10. Market Theater Gum Wall, Seattle, Washington
This attraction was labeled the “dirtiest” tourist destination in the world. This local landmark started when people lining up, to go inside the theater, kept on sticking their chewing gums on the wall. In addition, some even took the time to mold their gums into different structures. This has been happening for two decades now. People visit the Market Theater Gum Wall and try to stick their gum on the wall too.