Across the United States, more than 25,000 tracts of land are under the protection of some form of the United States government. That’s nearly half a million square miles of forest, prairie, and desert that’s folded into the nation’s protected areas. That’s a lot of land that’s nearly devoid of regular human interaction. Just because you’re walking on protected land doesn’t mean you are safe. There are a lot of mysteries floating through the country’s National Parks system and the authorities are not that forthcoming with details on unsolved cases. Not to dissuade you from enjoying these wonderful landscapes, but here are some eerie clusters of mysterious disappearances that have happened in certain parks and forests over the decades. Wild speculation has ranged from alien abductions to Sasquatch encounters to government conspiracies. Sound farfetched? Read on and judge for yourself.
1. The Calm Young Lady
Devil’s Den State Park is a beautiful, but unforgiving bit of land in Arkansas that’s claimed several lives over the years. But one story had a happy yet strange ending. In 1946, eight-year-old Katherine Van Alst wandered off from her family’s camp site and got lost. Though a search party scoured the area, the little girl wasn’t found for six full days, a length of time that should have been a death sentence. When she was found, though, the girl walked calmly out of a cave and simply announced, “Here I am,” without remembering any details of what had happened to her.
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Visitors to the wilds of Kenya should take time to investigate what things they should and should not do during their safari. Too often people forget that life in the wild is nothing like life in the suburbs. A Kenyan safari is a bucket-list experience, but it’s a serious undertaking that should be approached with care and caution. While advisories warning against travel to Kenya have been issued in light of recent incidents, many tourists continue to flock to Masai Mara, Tsavo, Lake Nakuru and other reserves unscathed, and enjoy a trip of a lifetime. If you are planning to visit Kenya and its untamed landscapes, be sure to keep the following safari tips in mind.
1. Don’t Leave the Vehicle or You Might be Lunch
While that sleeping lion might seem yards and yards away, don’t attempt to get a good close-up by leaving the safety of your vehicle. If you step out of the jeep in the presence of large animals like elephants, rhinos or big cats, you are definitely risking your life. Maintaining a healthy respect for these beasts may be the only thing that prevents you from becoming a snack on the savanna.
Sergey Rusakov / shutterstock.com
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Cairo is steeped in the ancient past, making for a wide array of cultural attractions to take in on a present-day visit. Many people travel to the Egyptian capital to witness its historical marvels, and to experience some of its modern vibrancy too. If you’re planning a trip to this multifaceted city, check out these top things to see and do in Cairo.
1. Giza Pyramids
The Giza Pyramids are among the most popular landmarks in the world and they lie just outside Cairo. As one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, these pyramids attract tourists from all over the planet. The pyramids are among the most recognizable symbols of Egypt and attest to its remarkable past. Out of all the things to see and do in Cairo, you can’t miss this.
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Looking for some inspiration for a honeymoon or romantic getaway? Check out where the Hollywood who’s who took their post-wedding holidays. If these locations are good enough for these A-listers, they no doubt have the caché for you and your special someone too. You might not have their deep pockets or connections to get into the best hotels, but you can follow in their famous footsteps to at least enjoy the same regions. Here are ten celebrity honeymoon destinations around the world to stir your own travel dreams.
1. Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, Tanzania
Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake (Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com)
This actress/crooner couple went on a romantic safari honeymoon back in 2012. They flew to Tanzania by private plane and then took a helicopter to Singita Grumeti, a private game reserve in Serengeti Park. They went wildlife spotting in a 4×4 and even indulged in a hot air balloon ride for a birds eye view on the African landscape. The newlyweds reportedly stayed in the luxurious Singita Sasakwa Lodge and Singita Faru-Faru Lodge throughout their blissful getaway.
The honeymooners took a hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti.
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The US State Department and other government equivalents regularly put out warnings on global hotspots they advise their citizens to steer clear of. Most of these are war torn areas or regions where consular support is non-existent. Largely this is sensible advice (for example, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Kenya, Venezuela, Haiti, North Korea, Syria and the Sudan are not the wisest holiday bets at the moment). Then again, sometimes these travel alerts and warnings are a tad alarmist, geopolitically motivated or tarnish a whole country when only a small area is potentially risky. This list is a little different, where the threat to your well-being is due to factors like animals, altitude, disease or disaster. Here are 9 non-war-related danger zones around the world with particular hazards that should ward off even the most intrepid traveler.
1. Ilha de Queimada Grande, Brazil
Rio is getting a bad rap at the moment for its World Cup furor and uptick in crime. However, it’s another area of Brazil that screams “keep out” as no amount of street smarts could prevent its deathly peril. Ilha de Queimada Grande is an island less than 100 miles off the coast from São Paulo that is frighteningly noteworthy because it is literally crawling with snakes (or should that be slithering?). Not just any snake, but the endangered, endemic and deadly golden lancehead pit viper. It grows to half a meter long and transmits a quick-acting venom that melts the flesh around the bite and leads to an almost certain death. Estimates say there is one to five snakes per square meter on this nightmarish island, so you’re chances of encountering one while here are pretty much guaranteed. That’s why the Brazilian Navy sensibly discourages curious tourists or wayward fishermen from visiting, and only brave herpetologists on a scientific mission are granted permits to explore “snake island.”
Lancehead Pit Viper
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With modern technology and science at our fingertips, we like to think we’re know-it-alls. However, there are lots of unanswered questions in the ancient and natural world that still have us stumped. Some of us are compelled to probe the hows and whys to try and explain the enigmas. Others just revel in the WTF of it all. Here are 8 sweet mysteries around the globe that make fascinating destinations to explore and speculate on. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to crack the code.
1. Stonehenge, UK
One of the most famous of all mysterious monuments is this iconic rock circle in Wiltshire, England. Archeologists have determined it was built around 2500 BC out of Welsh sandstone, but how the enormous rocks were mined, shaped, transported and positioned here is baffling. Even more cryptic is the question of why. The circular arrangement has been meticulously orchestrated to showcase the summer and winter solstices, an astronomical and engineering achievement seemingly beyond the scope of that primitive time. Stonehenge is firmly on the tourist trail and has a bit of a new age cult-following, especially around those mystical solstices.
Stonehenge at Night, Wiltshire, England
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