The most fascinating places in Earth’s solar system are all in the Indian Ocean, a new survey has found.
The study, published in Nature Geoscience, surveyed more than 500 locations worldwide and found some of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica and the Pacific Ocean.
The survey found some great wonders were not visited by the majority of people.
For example, the largest inhabited island, St Helena, is only accessible by boat and it takes 3 hours and 15 minutes to drive there.
In the other extreme, many places have only one or two places to visit, such as the Maldives, where the island is home to just 1.5 million people and its only accessible via ferry.
“The Indian Ocean is one of the most exciting areas to visit in the Western Hemisphere, with amazing biodiversity, fascinating ecosystems, and breathtaking scenery,” said co-author Dr Jens Hütter from the University of Hamburg, who led the research.
“It’s also one of our least visited continents, with fewer than a million people living on the islands of the Maldive, the Maldonado Islands, and the Borneo Archipelago.”
The findings reveal a surprising number of places, many of them hidden from the public eye, which have a surprising amount of natural beauty.
“Some of the places on this list are just so special, and we think there’s still much more to discover,” Dr Hüter said.
“If we can find some more places to go in the future, I would love to see some more amazing things that we haven’t yet explored.”
One of the worlds most beautiful natural wonders is the Great Sand Dunes in Indonesia, where people flock to gaze at the colourful sandstone formations.
However, it is often very difficult to get to the top of the hills and to find the best vantage point to photograph.
Some of the great sights on the Great Surabaya Peninsula, in Indonesia’s Aceh province, are only accessible using a ferry, which takes just three hours.
The best places to discover a new place are hidden in the depths of the sea, with only a few tourists allowed to explore.
There are also some amazing sights of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and a stunning view of the Himalayas in India.
There is also an ocean of amazing underwater caves in Australia’s Great Barrier Islands, where only one person can visit at a time.
Some interesting places on the list include the world-famous coral reef in the Pacific, which is only accessed by boat, and a cave in the deep sea off the coast of the Australian city of Adelaide, which only has one person allowed to visit.
Many of the more unusual places are found in remote regions of the globe, with the study finding some people visit them only when it’s hot and dry.
In one of those cases, a surveyor in China was caught by surprise by a huge rock formation and lost his boat in the sand.
The discovery prompted the local authorities to ban boats from entering the area.
However other people have also taken great interest in exploring a new location.
“We find the most interesting places to do something in a foreign country when they are not so well known,” Dr Peter Akerlof, a professor of archaeology at the University, said.