Our planet is truly blessed with an abundance of breathtaking landforms. There is absolutely no dearth of stunning landforms scattered all over the planet. Of these, some are so beautiful, that it is difficult to believe that they’re actually manmade! When you see these landforms, you wonder, how on earth the humans managed to create these stunning manmade landforms?
However, not all manmade landforms are constructed in a planned manner with the purpose of creating spectacular landscapes. Some them are testimonies to mankind’s mismanagement of natural resources while some of them are a sheer marvel of human engineering and farming techniques. Some of them have resulted due to modern dam constructions, mining and scientific experiments.
Check out these 10 unique man-made landforms that have resulted due to humankind’s meddling with nature and in the process, creating some stunning artificial landforms!
Longsheng Rice Terrace, China
Known as Dragon’s Backbone, these stunning terraced rice fields owe their name to their shape, which resembles the scales on a dragon’s back. Located about 100 kilometres from Guilin, China; these terraced fields are built along the mountain slope, winding from the riverside up to the mountain-top, positioned between 600 metres and 800 metres above sea level. Longsheng Rice Terrace dates back to Yuan and Ming Dynasty and is a testimony to the brilliant farming and engineering efforts of the indigenous Zhuang people.
Tip: Visit Longsheng Rice Terrace is known for its changing colours according to seasons. Mid-April to late June is ideal for mirror-like watery terraces. Green terraces are tourist magnet between July to mid-September. Autumn (late September – mid-November) is known for golden terraces and silvery-white terraces and snowfall between December to early February.
READ MORE: Top 10 Train Journeys In The World
Lake Powell, USA
Lake Powell, is a sparkling gem in the desert, with its bright blue waters, and soaring red sandstone cliffs, and towering rock formations. This incredible artificial lake was created by flooding the Colorado River in Glen Canyon during the construction of Glen Canyon Dam. Straddling between the borders of Arizona and Utah, Lake Powell is a popular tourist destination known for adventure tours like helicopter rides, river rafting, jeep or all-terrain vehicle drives. It also offers camping, nature hiking, water sports, bird watching, houseboat experience, etc.
The manmade landform has a great influence in shaping up the nature of the Canyon and making it the second-largest manmade landform in the United States.
Tip: Best time to visit Lake Powell and Glen Canyon area is during Spring and Autumn season. Weather during these two seasons are moderate and allows plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.
READ MORE: Top 10 Roads To Travel In The World
Fly Geyser, USA
Located on a private land in the middle of the Nevada desert, Fly Geyser, also known as Fly Ranch Geyser, is one of the most incredible sights in Nevada. Fly Geyser is not a natural phenomenon, but a man-made landform, which was accidentally created in 1964 as the result of a test drill for water. The brilliant red and green colouring on the mounds comes from thermophilic algae. The gushing water reaches a height of 5 feet in the air, making it one of the striking and accidental manmade landforms in the world.
Tip: Fly Ranch Geyser is a private property which has started limited guided tours. You can also see the artificial landform from the State Route 34 north of the town Gerlach.
READ MORE: Around The World In 15 Sandwiches!
Big Hole, South Africa
Kimberley is the home to South Africa’s rich diamond mines and processing industry. It’s also known for its unique manmade landform – The Big Hole. This is the site where the first diamond was discovered in 1869, heralding a diamond mining rush in the country. The Big Hole covers 170,000 square meters and reaches a depth of 240 meters. Now defunct, it yielded three tons of diamonds. This incredible and largest manmade pit in the world was excavated all by human hands and basic digging tools.
Today, this abandoned diamond mine is part of a museum. It has open-air viewing platforms, original houses, offices and shops, mock diamond diggings, interactive displays, several reconstructions of old and iconic businesses and houses.
Tip: Don’t forget to check out the Digger’s Memorial and Kimberley Mine Museum.
Indigo Lake, USA
Located in Summit County, Ohio, the Indigo Lake is part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This small, colourful, triangular shaped lake is an artificial landform created by flooding the original site of Graystone quarry, a gravel and sand pit. Park service personnel have further ensured constant water supply to this lake by channelling several water springs available in the area. Swimming is banned in the lake, but recreational fishing is one of the most popular things to do in Indigo Lake. The lake also serves as a training point for the Akron Fire Department to practice under-ice rescue techniques each winter.
Tip: Indigo Lake is easily accessible by car from Riverview Road and by rail via Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
READ MORE: 10 Surreal Places To Visit In Nepal
Lake Piva, Montenegro
Lake Piva is the highest elevated artificial reservoir of fresh water in Europe, located in Northern Montenegro. This stunning emerald green lake is one of the famous manmade landforms of Europe, formed after the construction of Mratinje Dam on Piva River. Spread over 45 kilometres and situated 675 metres above sea level, Piva Lake dominates the heart of the region. Pluzine, a picturesque small town situated on the shore of Piva lake, surrounded by the peaks of Durmitor, Volujak and Ledenica, is the gateway to the lake and the starting point of several cruises.
Tip: Enjoy a scenic drive on Piva Canyon Road on the way to Mratinje Dam and Piva Lake. You can also enjoy a cruise on Piva Lake and Piva River while enjoying meals and drinks.
READ MORE: Romance Your Way Around In 100% Pure New Zealand
Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, China
Every photographer’s dream, the stunning Honghe Hani Rice Terraces of Yunnan, China are among the country’s famed landscapes. Covering an area of 1,000,000 acres, the famed rice terraces of Honge Hani look like a painting from above but are actually a man-made landform. The 1,200-year-old rice terraces were created to irrigate farm fields positioned along the side of hills using farming slopes. The rice terraces incorporate 82 local villages with an elaborate network of farming system, animal husbandry and comprising four counties of Yunnan – Yuanyang, Honghe, Jinpin, and Lvchun. One of China’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Honghe Hani Rice Terraces are among the most picturesque manmade landforms in the world.
Tip: Honge Hani Rice Terraces are among the most scenic and poetic landscapes of China. There are several known manmade rice terraces in China and all of them are popular tourist sites of the country.
READ MORE: Montenegro: A Page Out Of A Fairy Tale
Analavory Cold Water Geysers, Madagascar
Very similar in appearance to the Fly Geyer of Nevada, USA, the Analavory Geyser of Madagascar is another similar manmade landform in the world. There is no volcanic activity that heats the water underground and the gushing white waters are warm. There are four unusual geysers in the area and are part of the unique phenomenon called ‘cold water geyser’. This manmade cold-water geyser was formed because of underground mining. The release of carbonic acid from the groundwater causes the geyser to erupt, with boreholes resulting into the creation of interesting travertine mounds around the mouth of the outlet (a type of limestone formed over time due to dissolved lime and iron precipitates).
Tip: There are very few cold-water geysers. Crystal Geyser in Utah, the Wallender Born and Andernach Geyser in Germany are quite well known as well.
Providence Canyon, Georgia
Known as the ‘Little Grand Canyon’, the Providence Canyon in the US State of Georgia is a delightful and colourful landscape. Its considered as one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia” and is completely manmade landform. Surprisingly poor farming practices and soil erosion resulted in such dramatic craggy, rugged, and colourful canyon. Today, you can see gullies as deep as 150 feet and rare Plumleaf Azalea that grows and blooms during July and August. The canyon’s pink, orange, red and purple coloured soil looks like a delightful painting.
Tip: Visitors can enjoy views of the Providence Canyon from the rim trail while hikers can further explore the canyon and backpackers have also got options to enjoy camping, cottages, and efficiency units.
READ MORE: Top 10 Reasons To Visit France
Banaue Rice Terraces, Philippines
The sprawling Banaue Rice Terraces of Philippines are one of the key cultural delights of the Southeast Asian country. These manmade rice terraces date back to 2000 – 6000 years and are considered as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, by the Philippines. Carved into the province of Ifugao in the Cordillera Mountains by ancestors of the local tribe, this site sports a terrific blend of economic, social, cultural, and religious environment. To conserve this unusual manmade landform, UNESCO has listed it amongst the endangered World Heritage sites. It’s the greatest achievement of the Ifugao people, known for their wood carving and creating terrace farming skills.
Tip: Banaue is the key cultural and tourism hub of Ifugao culture. However, for more peaceful experience, visit the remote villages of Cambulo and Pula.