For the most part, geography is fairly predictable. Mountains look like mountains, rivers look like rivers, and the ocean is vast and terrifying. But sometimes, the giant muscular space wizard that keeps our planet spinning loses its balance, sending those mountains and rivers and oceans crashing together in unexpected ways. The end result is bizarre geographical wonders that look like James Cameron got hammered while playing SimEarth. That's how you get things like ...
7 The Eye of the Sahara
ESA via LiveScience
The Gaia hypothesis states that the Earth is actually a sentient being, and that all life forms that inhabit it are connected through that sentience. While there's no scientific evidence to support the theory that our home planet is a big wet rock with a soul and a heartbeat, it does have a giant freaking eye staring straight out into space:
Lucio Andreetto via Flickr
Objects in the All-Seeing Eye of Beelzebub may be closer than they appear.
Officially known as the Richat Structure, the Eye of the Sahara looks exactly like what its much more appropriate nickname describes. Located in the Mauritania branch of the Sahara, the eye is a 30-mile-wide collection of raised rocks that, for one reason or another, wound up in the shape of an eyeball. A grotesquely infected mummy eyeball, to be sure, but an eyeball nonetheless.
Google Earth via geology.rockbandit.net
"WHERE'S THE FUCKING VISINE?"
It was initially thought to be a meteorite impact zone, but people soon realized that meteorites typically punch craters into the Earth, and don't just cut a bunch of doughnuts in the sand before launching themselves back into space. Then it was suggested that the ridges might have been formed by a volcanic eruption, but that theory proved to be equally full of wrongness once people realized that there aren't any volcanic rocks anywhere near the damn thing. Nowadays, the prevalent belief is that the Eye was formed by the gradual erosion of nearby rocks over the centuries, and they just happened to settle into the shape of an eye. While that may turn out to be true, it's important to note that all of these theories have overlooked the most obvious explanation: magic.
How the rocks randomly managed to take the shape of an eyeball, nestled inside a raised slit that perfectly resembles an orbital socket, is a mystery that will probably never be explained. If it truly is the eyeball of a sentient Earth, it seems wildly disproportionate, and we have yet to find a second one, which suggests either a terrible birth defect or a cosmic motorcycle accident.
Europe does look suspiciously like an eye patch.