Have you ever watched a film like The Martian with Matt Damon and wondered where the filming location is that makes it looks otherworldly? The same can be said for Mad Max: Fury Road, those desserts that resemble Mars or other planets are actually found right here on Earth. Take a look at these spots if you want to feel like you have gone on vacation to another planet.
The Namib Desert, Namibia
Found in Namibia, the Namib Desert will make you feel like you have entered another world. The vast red sand, rock formations, and skeletal trees make it look like some kind of nuclear wasteland. You can take an ATV or simply go for a hike through the dunes and get a taste of how vast this desert is. It is very similar to another desert location that was used as the backdrop for Mars in The Martian, which brings us to our next locale.
Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum has long been a favorite for the adventurous traveler. As you enter Jordan via Israel or through the airport in Amman you can easily go on a tour of the region where another very famous site is: Petra. Wadi Rum, like the Namib Desert, features that red sand that is reminiscent of Mars. But it differs in that its rock formations are much larger with crevices and creeping rock outcroppings that truly make it look like you’ve left the planet. The exact place where the film was shot is called The Valley of the Moon which seems very fitting.
Lake Natron, Tanzania
This lake is characterized by the bright red hue and the lines of salt that make up the surface. There is also a plethora of flamingoes that like to hang out there which makes it the perfect spot for bird watchers. The water itself is 120 degrees which makes it impossible to enter as well as the salt levels that make it unpleasant to even touch. It definitely looks like something you would see the Enterprise crew in Star Trek visiting.
Wulingyuan Scenic Area, China
These towering sandstone pillars that dot this area in China may look rather familiar to you. That is because they were used as the inspiration for the planet Pandora in James Cameron’s Avatar movie franchise. There is truly nothing like them anywhere else in the world which makes them incredibly special. How they continue to stand up is a feat only explained by physics.