Most commonly called the “Terres des Sept Couleurs”, the Seven Coloured Earths in Mauritius is a rare geological oddity that proves brown is far from the only color of dirt.
Surrounded by forest and spreading out in seven distinct colors (red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple, and yellow), these psychedelic dunes were formed thanks to a rare confluence of volcanic activity which brought a number of different elements together, each with their own distinct hue. The rolling bands of color are caused by a strange phenomenon in which the different sand particles seem to miraculously settle together, creating patches of red iron or blue aluminum.
Another odd feature of the dunes is that they do not seem to erode, despite Mauritius’ heavy and frequent rains.
Chamarel, Mauritius is in fact regarded as one of the ‘otherworldly travel destinations’ on Earth. According to CNN, “some of the places where space science is being conducted on Earth” include: Atacama Desert, Chile; Chamarel Mauritius; Hell, Grand Cayman; Canaima National Park, Venezuela; Namib Desert, Namibia; Pink Lake, Senegal; Lake Baikal, Siberia; Devon Island, Canada; Fogo Island, Cape Verde.
Lake Baikal, Siberia
Atacama Desert, Chile
Source: Atlas Obscura & CNN