Some of the most surreal-looking geological formations around the world are the travertine terraces. A travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, like hot springs. These travertine terraces are formed by mineral hot springs as a result of rapid precipitation of carbonate minerals.
People during the ancient time of Rome used travertine as a building material. Travertine was also used in the construction of the St. Peter’s Basilica and Square in Vatican City.
Travertine terraces have been considered as the most stunning structure from a travertine rock. The Pamukkale travertine terrace in Turkey is one of the most stunning examples of travertine terraces. Pamukkale also known as the cotton castle is found near the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis. This travertine terrace is a popular bathing destination for people for thousands of years.
Aside from the travertine terrace in Pamukkale there are also other surreal-looking travertine terraces from around the world. Here are the 10 spectacular travertine terraces on Earth.
1. Huanglong, Sichuan, China
This travertine terrace situated in Huanglong Valley in China has a total length of 3.6 kilometers. It is also thought that it looks like a massive dragon descending through the snow-filled mountains of the Huanglong Valley.
2. Semuc Champey, Guatemala
The Semuc Champey is not a well-known spot for a lot of people, but this travertine terrace is a popular travel destination for Central-American travelers.
3. Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkalae which means “Cotton Castle” in Turkish is a natural site located in Denizli Province, Turkey. There are a lot of beautiful attractions that can be found in this city including hot springs and travertine.
One of the main attractions in Pamukkalae is its travertine terrace, where tourists are allowed to take a bath in some of the white terraces.
4. Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
The Mammoth Hot Springs is located at Yellow Stone National Park in Wyoming. The travertine terrace here can change color and shape. If there are changes on thermal activities the color will change too. Fresh travertine has bright white color and as the weather changes, the color will change into gray.
5. Badab-e Surt, Mazandaran, Iran
Badab-e Surt in Mazandaran Province is a natural site which can be found in the northern part of Iran. The travertine terraces that can be found here have been formed thousands of years ago by flowing water from two mineral hot springs. The cooled water will then deposit carbonate minerals on the mountainside.
6. Bagni San Filippo, Tuscany, Italy
Bagni San Filippo is a village located at the municipality of Castiglione d’Orcia in Tuscany, Italy. Tourists can take a bath in hot thermal water from this travertine terrace.
7. Eger, Hungary
The travertine in Eger, Hungary is also known as the “Salt” and the cascade of water is known as the “Salt Hill”.
8. Plitvice National Park, Croatia
The Plitvice National Park is the biggest national park found in Croatia and the oldest in Southeast Europe. This national park is well-known for its lakes that are separated by dams of travertine.
9. Baishuitai, China
The Baishuitai waterfall terraces are found in the Tibetan area of China. The 2.500-meter waterfall terraces have hot water flowing through its pools.
10. Hierve el Agua
The travertine terraces in Hierve el Agua, also called as “the water boiled”, are some of the beautiful pools which you can see at the edge of the cliff in Oaxaca State in Mexico.
Sources: mnn.com, atlasofwonders.com