The Seven-Colored Sands of Mauritius
Picture yourself on a remote island nation. Maybe you're there to abduct a giant gorilla, or perhaps you've just finished outrunning the Germans and it's time to escape via seaplane. But when you finally break through the tree line, you suddenly find yourself standing at the edge of a small Technicolor desert in the middle of the jungle, as if Dr. Seuss' house had just been detonated by a mummy curse. Even more curious, when you disturb the sand, it eventually sorts itself back together according to color like a bowl of M&M's backstage at a Rolling Stones concert.
Keith Richards' veins now flow with a similarly multicolored dust.
Congratulations: you've stumbled on the Seven-Colored Earths of Mauritius. Despite sounding like something you'd spend 40 hours farming World of Warcraft to discover, you'd actually have to leave your house to find it -- the Seven Colored Earths is a tiny rainbow desert on the island of Mauritius off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It's about as remote as anything can get, but, if you're a wealthy eccentric or just have a ton of Delta points saved up, it's well worth the trip.
Desperate to escape government regulation, Willy Wonka opened an offshore candy factory
with a criminally relaxed nuclear safety program.
Formed from weathering of the volcanic basalt bedrock, the sand dunes have settled into distinctly sorted bands of color. Even when mixed together in your hand, the grains will eventually reorganize themselves. Arguably just as bizarre is the fact that the sand dunes never erode despite Mauritius' relentless tropical rainfall, which can exceed 60 inches per year. It's the most supernaturally stubborn desert in the history of existence.
Twelve quadrillion flakes of fairy dandruff will do that for you.
Due to their charming hauntedness, the sand dunes have become a popular tourist attraction, although the desert is now fenced off, presumably to prevent people from stealing pocketfuls of magic dust to take home with them. The area has been studied extensively, but so far there is no definitive explanation for the sands' ability to continually separate into distinct colors. We honestly wouldn't be surprised if some researcher eventually discovers that the goddamned stuff grants wishes.
For more fantastical locations that are totally real, check out 6 Fictional Places You Didn't Know Actually Existed. And then check out 18 Sci-Fi Locations That Exist in the Real World.
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