This tiny island is most famous for hundreds of dolls and doll parts hanging from the trees. The island used to be the home of a man named Julian Santa Barrera. He was the one responsible for placing the dolls around the island. The story goes that Barrera found the body of a girl in one of the canals surrounding the island and put up the dolls in order to ward off evil spirits as well as to honor the memory of the deceased young girl.
Another story has it that the girl’s spirit possessed the dolls. After finding the girl’s body, Barrera found a baby doll floating in the water, which he presumed to belong to the girl he had seen. According to Julian, he was haunted by the spirit of the girl, which is what precipitated him putting up dolls around the island.
More About Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico
Barrera collected dolls for 50 years before he met the same fate as the girl he could not save. He was found in the same spot he saw the small girl all those years ago.
The island is visited often, and individuals even bring their own dolls to add to the extensive collection. What may have been a man’s innocent desire to honor the untimely death of a young girl inevitably turned into a morbid tourist attraction — who knew?
While we have already mentioned a few demented artists, here is another worth mentioning. Although a more substantial work, it still contains some of the most bizarre works of art the human mind can imagine.
Haw Par Villa is an 82-year-old theme park, but nothing like you have ever seen before. The park contains over 1,000 statues that will leave your skin crawling. The main attraction of the park is called Ten Courts of Hell, which is an underworld themed attraction. While meant for children, this attraction is as extraordinary as you can get: exhibits include people cut in half, dismembered, and thrown onto a hill of knives.
Haw Par Villa was built in 1937 by the founders of Tiger Balm. Originally named Tiger Balm Gardens, the theme park was abandoned during World War II when the Japanese used the grounds as a place to watch the sea for invaders.
In 1980 the park began to come alive again. In the late ’80s, the Singapore Tourism Board bought the place and spruced it up, renaming it the Haw Par Villa.
You may be thinking, what could be so gruesome about a glacier? Well, this is no ordinary glacier. This particular glacier houses a five-story crimson red waterfall. This is an entirely natural phenomenon dating back millions of years.
What happened here is that the glacier trapped a microbe-rich lake beneath it, effectively keeping light and oxygen away from the water, which caused it to become more concentrated with salt and iron. Because the salt content is so high in the water, the water never freezes; this is also what gives the water its color.
More natural wonders are coming your way! The peak of this volcano is impressive in itself, consisting of sulfurous gases that can reach temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The gases sometimes condense into a solid, lending the lava from the volcano a blue hue. Sulfur also produces beautiful colors as it burns in the air. The lake beside the volcano has also been transformed from the sulfur gas: it has turned green!
This town was once known for its productive coal mines between 1800 and 1960. In 1962, one of the mines caught fire and wound up spreading underground. The fire didn’t pose a problem until 1979 when gasoline tanks started experiencing abnormally high temperatures and then in 1981 when a boy fell into a sinkhole in his backyard that was created by the underground fire.
As of 2014, only seven people inhabit the town. To this day, smoke can still be seen coming out from fissures created in the ground; scientists believe the fire will continue to burn for hundreds of years to come.
Who doesn’t remember or who have not heard about the Chernobyl fallout? This city is the result of that disaster. Once a thriving town with a population of 50,000, it is now completely deserted.
Everything in the town remains exactly as it was left. Creepy right? The most iconic remnant from the city is a giant Ferris Wheel. Officials say that once radiation has reached safe levels, the town will reopen as a tourist attraction.