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DEVIL’S POOL, VICTORIA FALLS, ZAMBIA : On its own, Victoria Falls would easily qualify as one of the world’s greatest natural phenomena. About a mile wide with a 360ft drop, it’s the largest curtain of falling water on the planet. Which makes the Devil’s Pool, at its top, all the more crazy. This natural swimming hole, on the very edge of the falls, has an underwater rock barrier which means you can safely swim up to the lip of the thundering cascade without fear of being swept away.
CATATUMBO LIGHTNING, VENEZUELA : They say lightning never strikes twice, but on Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela that’s a lie. This large inlet of the Caribbean Sea, next to Catatumbo River, holds the Guinness World Record for the most lightning strikes per square kilometre – some 250 per year on average. And they happen all the time: about 260 days a year, thousands of flashes an hour, all night long – as if you’re watching the sky transform into a plasma globe on full beam.
INSIDE THE VOLCANO, ICELAND : Most volcanoes seal up after eruption. But Thrihnukagigur, a now dormant cone in Iceland’s Blue Mountains, remained open making it the only volcano on the planet that allows visitors to actually go inside. It’s like entering another world: a 400ft-deep abyss – big enough to fit three basketball courts and the Statue of Liberty – with rock walls stained in a tapestry of orange, red and yellow lava scars, like a piece of modern art. It’s beautiful, but also surreal. Like figuring out the secret of a magician’s trick, the earth feels a little more amazing having seen it from the inside.