The world is a beautiful place, of that there is really no doubt, and we are surrounded daily by fantastic sights that we often take for granted. For example, just looking up at the sky at night and seeing it filled with sparkling stars that look like fireflies on velvet can be one of the most breathtaking scenes – and one that is literally right over our heads for half of our lives. However while there is beauty all around us, there are also some particular scenes that really demonstrate just how fantastic nature can be. Here we will look at some of those most beautiful scenes in the world that you must see before you die – not specific places, but events and types of scenery that you can find in many parts of the world that really make you drop your jaw.
The northern lights: The northern lights are a spectacular light show that's seen in many cold northern regions. These appear as green and multicoloured streaks across the night sky, that look as though someone has taken a paint brush to the night sky. When seen on a clear night it's one of the most magical and alien looking sights in the world.
A desert: A desert is something we are unlikely to see unless we go out of our way to do so, however it is a fantastic sight to behold. So desolate and so expansive, while completely dry and orange and red in colour. If you go to a properly sandy desert such as the Sahara, then you will also get to look at the fantastic dunes and sand formations which are unlike anything you're likely to encounter elsewhere. Travel to the deserts in Giza however and you will get to encounter the amazing pyramids that look at once strange and magnificent amongst the sand.
The stars from the wilderness: As mentioned, we are constantly surrounded by beauty, and the stars are one of the most fantastic examples of this. At the same time this is the only time you ever get any real idea of the sheer size of the universe which can be very daunting and humbling. When you stare up at the stars you seeing balls of burning gas thousands of light years away that may or may not support life. At the same time you are not actually seeing them as they are now – but as they were thousands of years ago due to the amount of time that it takes for them to travel to your eyes. This is something truly fantastic to behold, and a magnificent demonstration of the power and scope of the natural world once again. In order to fully appreciate it though, you really need to be away from man-made light sources such as lampposts and houses which create 'light pollution' and thereby result in the stars looking not as bright. The solution is to get out somewhere right away from civilisation – for example in the middle of the desert – and stare up at them then.
A great mountain range: There are hundreds of places that could have made the list here: the Scottish Highlands, the Swiss Alps, the Zakopane mountains… but wherever you are, as soon as you get to one of the higher view points and look down over the other looming snow capped mountains, it can be an incredibly momentous sight.
A glacier: Similarly standing on a glacier is something you can do in many different places, but wherever you are it is a spectacular experience where the entire floor is made of reflective and crystal clear ice. Normally these are also surrounded by snow peaked mountains so this is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. At the same time it also just adds to the majesty of the surroundings.
Caves: This has come under one heading, but really there are many different types of caves that could all have their own entries here. For example crystal caves are amazingly beautiful sites that have huge crystals scattered throughout. Likewise caves with ice have a similar effect – like walking through Superman's fortress of solitude. Finally, if you try going spelunking and lower yourself into a huge open cave it can feel like discovering a whole new world, and it becomes no wonder that there are so many stories of creatures living underground. Even just small caves can look fantastic though, especially where there is a pool of water providing the only light which makes amazingly beautiful shapes on the walls and ceiling. For something truly unique travel to the Waitomo glow worm cave in New Zealand – a completely pitch black cave filled with glimmering glow worms that makes it appear as though you are surrounded by stars.
Jungle/rainforest: For those who don't live in tropical climates, it's easy to never see jungle or rainforest. This is something you should definitely seek out though, as it's an experience completely different from any you'll get anywhere else.
A city by night from above: Not all the beauty in the world comes from nature, but it also comes from us. Cities, while they look like dirty and noisy rat taps during the day, take on a beautiful glow by night. When seen from a distance across the sea, or from above from a lookout point or helicopter the lights can be just as compelling as many of the other sites on here. Some of the best to see at night are Las Vegas (known as the city of lights for a reason!), Tokyo, Cape Town, Paris or New York.
A waterfall: Waterfalls again bring home the truly magnificent power of nature, and the crashing noise of so many tonnes of water falling over such distance is an incredible ting to witness. At the same time though it is immensely relaxing and normally surrounded by lush scenery. The Iguaza waterfalls and the Niagra are of course two of the most well known and most beautiful.
The sunset at the sea: This is another one that's easy enough to seek out no matter where you live. You'd be surprised at how many people will go for years never seeing the sea, which is a big shame when it's such a fantastic things to witness – a horizon that stretches further than the eye can see uninterrupted by anything but sea. This is the perfect place to see the sun set then which is a beautiful scene that occurs every single day. If you're lucky you might even see the green flash as it disappears over the horizon.