Strangest Places People Actually Live From Around The World

By molly atherton 4 months ago
From lofty treetops to desolate islands, and even within the hollowed remnants of ancient rocks, humanity has found a way to carve out dwellings in the most unexpected corners of the globe. Join us as we unveil the extraordinary and bizarre, exploring the strangest places people call home from around the world. From architectural marvels to nature's quirkiest nooks, this expedition promises to redefine our understanding of what it means to settle down in the strangest of places.

1. Coober Pedy underground village, Australia

Nestled within an intricate network of tunnels and homes, Coober Pedy is an underground village that is located in the outback of Australia. There is an underground network which has tunnels, connections and homes. Most people would never imagine that it is actually a place where people live their lives.Original content sourced from Femanin.com
Image source: Reddit
The environment of the outback is extreme, there are freezing cold winters and boiling hot summers, and being below the earth insults and protects people from this. Its residents have turned to the depths of the earth to seek out an unusual kind of shelter.

2. The Rock Homes of Gibraltar

The rock of Gibraltar is situated right at the very tip of the Iberian peninsula. It's an amazing geological structure...and there are houses built right into the face of the rock. These homes are by no means modern, they date right back to the Neanderthal times.
Image source: Reddit
But the craziest thing of all is, that some people actually still inhabit these ancient homes, all of these centuries later! Welcome to a world where ancient echoes persist, and the past breathes life into the present, all against the stunning backdrop of Gibraltar's majestic rock.

3. The Korowai Tree Houses

Hidden within the lush forests of Papua, Indonesia, the Korowai people have forged a unique relationship with the towering giants around them. The Korowai people are an indigenous tribe, and they live a very isolated existence within the forests of Paua, Indonesia.
Image source: Reddit
They have become known for living in amazing treehouse structures. The tribe builds their dwellings very high up to protect them from the dangers of the forest. They are made out of wood and natural materials and weaved together to make them strong enough to live.

4. Slab City

Slab City is often called the 'Last Free Place of America' because it is a place where people live a very unconventional and 'off the grid' lifestyle to stay outside the constraints of society. The name is derived from World War II, as the place was a military base camp that was abandoned.
Image source: Reddit
It was then taken over by people all seeking to lead a non-traditional kind of lifestyle. Unfettered by the conventional trappings of contemporary living, residents have carved out a non-traditional way of life within the concrete slabs that once served a different purpose.

5. Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Longyearbyen is a settlement in Svalbard which is one of the most northern places in the world, that is actually inhabited. It's a very, very extreme place to live with never-ending summer days of 24-hour sunlight and darkness throughout the harsh winter months.
Image source: Reddit
The settlement first started during coal mining, however, people have continued to remain here to this day. Longyearbyen persists as a testament to human endurance in the face of the Arctic's formidable challenges; isolation, resilience, and an unyielding connection to the unforgiving beauty of the Arctic landscape.

6. Aogashima, Japan

Aogashima is a Japanese island, part of the Izu islands. The island is formed from volcanic rock which surrounds the volcano in the center — a Japanese island draped in the allure of volcanic mystique. It's extremely beautiful and has hot springs and amazing natural beauty.
Image source: Reddit
The island is only accessible by a boat or a helicopter and only a total of 200 people actually live here on the island as it is extremely remote. Welcome to Aogashima, a testament to the captivating beauty that thrives in the embrace of isolation and unrelenting nature.

7. Vorosha, Cyprus

Vorosha is an abandoned ghost town located in Cyprus where time stands still, and the ghostly remnants of history whisper. It has largely been deserted since a conflict in 1974, as it remains under the control of the Turkish military. There have been many efforts to return it to the bustling town it once was.
Image source: Reddit
Some people do actually still live here, however, the town has a haunted silence about it as most people left permanently. As efforts persist to revitalize the town, we explore the complex narrative that surrounds this forgotten settlement. It's a lonely type of existence here.

8. Monawi, Nebraska

Monawi is a very small village nestled in the quiet expanse of Boyd County, Nebraska. It is the most tiny town in the entirety of America, as a recent census confirmed a very depleted population of 1 person, an eighty-four-year-old woman named Elsie Eiler.
Image source: Reddit
As the sole inhabitant, Elsie wears many hats, embodying the essence of community, resilience, and determination. Aside from Eiler, the town remains deserted. After World War II the town suffered and people started to move away. Eiler decided to remain in the place she'd always called home.

9. The train graveyard of Uyuni

The train graveyard of Uyuni is a collection of rusting, abandoned trains in Bolivia. They were once used for transporting goods to the mines however they now lie completely abandoned. It has become a popular attraction amongst tourists who want to witness the sight.
Image source: Reddit
Strangest of all, some people actually live here amongst the vast collection of ghost trains! As we navigate the old tracks of the graveyard, meet the unconventional residents who have carved out a life amidst the ghostly presence of forgotten trains.

10. Thor's Well Homes, Oregon

In the rugged embrace of the Oregon coast, where the untamed beauty of nature meets the thrill of the unknown, Thor's Well emerges as a captivating spectacle. Thor's Well is a place of extreme natural beauty, it is essentially a huge hole in the rocks which creates a well or waterfall feature.
Image source: Reddit
Tourists flock to witness this natural wonder, but amidst the breathtaking views, there exists a community of individuals who have chosen to live on the very edge of nature's abyss. They are within throwing distance from the vast water drop. Only those daring enough could ever live here!

11. The Salina Turda, Romania

Beneath the earth's surface in Romania lies an extraordinary testament to the intersection of history and modern innovation—Salina Turda. Salina Turda is an underground salt mine which has now been developed underground to feature all kinds of facilities including a theme park and a museum.
Image source: Reddit
There is an underground lake, and craziest of all, some people actually live here. It has become a kind of underground world. The salt mine stopped its use back in 1932 and was abandoned until 1992 when the potential attraction was spotted and developed.

12. The rock houses of Cappadocia, Turkey

Welcome to Cappadocia Rock Houses, where the echoes of the past harmonize with the rhythms of the present, creating a timeless destination that invites all to immerse themselves in the living history of central Turkey. The Cappadocia rock houses can be found in central Turkey.
Image source: Reddit
They are such a unique archaeological formation and they have been inhabited as homes since 4000 BCE. The rock houses are not the only part of the town and formation, there are underground networks and even cities! Now, along with real residents people go to stay here at rock hotels or apartments.

13. Mastmata, Tunisia

Matmata is located in Tunisia, it is a very small, Berber-speaking (one of the last remaining in the world), town that is underground. The houses are traditional troglodyte structures and today the residents remain here in the traditional formations. The population currently stands at 2,116.
Image source: Reddit
People first came to live here to escape from invasion, and now the town remains to this day. Welcome to Matmata, where time seems to stand still, and ancient life persists in a modern world, offering a glimpse into the enduring legacy of a town firmly rooted in its troglodyte haven.

14. La Rinconada, Peru

There is a very small town near the Peruvian Andes called La Rinconada which is THE highest town in the entire world. The town is 5,000 meters high and it is mainly inhabited by those who work in the gold mines. It is extremely hard to get in and out of the town.
Image source: Reddit
The lifestyle conditions that the residents face here daily are hard and each day has challenges! With limited access and the daunting task of obtaining supplies, La Rinconada paints a vivid picture of a community resiliently clinging to life at the pinnacle of the world.

15. North Sentinel Island, India

North Sentinel Island is a very remote island in Bengal Bay. It is one of the last tribes in the world that still reject external influence and contact from the outside world. They are renowned for displaying hostility towards people from outside and have even been known to forcefully remove people.
Image source: Reddit
The island remains much of a mystery for this reason and it is now illegal to attempt to reach the island. Shrouded in mystery and untouched by the tides of globalization, the island remains a testament to the resilience of a tribe determined to maintain its independence.

16. Supai Village, Arizona

Embark on a journey to the heart of Havasu Canyon, where the red rocks of the Grand Canyon cradle Supai Village, providing a backdrop to a lifestyle that echoes the traditions of the Havasupai tribe. Supai Village is a very small community of people in Arizona.
Image source: Reddit
It is located near the grand canyon, in the Havasu Canyon, deep down so that it can only be reached by mule, helicopter, or 8 miles of walking. So the Havasupai tribe who live here are very cut off from the outside world and live a very traditional life according to their own cultural beliefs.

17. The Uros floating islands

The Uros floating islands are man-made structures. The Uru people live here and have been constructing these islands for centuries. They are an indigenous people and they use the materials from their land, such as the reeds, to create the floating structures.
Image source: Reddit
The Uru people have created a unique way of life centered around self-sufficiency, fishing, and hunting. Visitors are often welcome to come and see the unique homes and village where a community that has embraced a lifestyle anchored in the traditions of their ancestors.

18. Caracas's Skyscraper slum

In the center of Caracaras, a huge skyscraper called the Tower of David was built during a time of economic success. It was 45 stories high and it was predicted to house over 700 families, but before it was completed it was left abandoned when the money ran out.
Image source: Reddit
Now, the skyscraper has been turned into a kind of neighborhood where people live unofficially in the abandoned and incomplete area. Unfinished, yet not forgotten, this immense skyscraper has transformed into a very unconventional vertical neighborhood.

19. Pitcairn Island

Pitcairn Island is extremely remote and it is considered one of the most isolated islands in the world that remains inhabited. In 1767 a British Sailor discovered the land. Then in 1790, a group of mutineers came to settle on the island and the island remains inhabited now.
Image source: Reddit
The inhabitants are the descendants of those who arrives all those centuries ago. The people are completely self-sufficient and fail to cut off from outside influence. Today, Pitcairn Island remains inhabited by the descendants of those early settlers, creating a living legacy that transcends centuries.

20. The root bridges of Meghalaya

These root bridges have been crafted from tree roots and weaved together to form these impressive structures. The communities here have been using these techniques for centuries, and they have crafted homes from the roots which weave into the bridges.
Image source: Reddit
Some of these are created new, and some are centuries old. It's an example of a completely sustainable home system, embedded in their traditions, where homes seamlessly integrate with the environment, creating a model of eco-friendly living that has stood the test of time.

21. Snake Island, Brazil

Snake Island is one of the most dangerous islands ever due to the high number of dangerous and highly poisonous snakes that live on the island. Despite the island being largely uninhabited there are a couple of residents who unofficially live here against advice.
Image source: Reddit
The golden lancehead viper, crowned as the most venomous snake globally, weaving its way through the island's dense vegetation. As the island remains largely off-limits to tourists, witness the challenges faced by those who choose to inhabit this hazardous haven.

22. The Houtong Cat Village

Houtong Cat Village is a cat lover's paradise where every corner is adorned with the playful presence of cats, and the air is filled with the delightful purring symphony.. It's a small village in Taiwan but it has become famous for its massive population of cats living here.
Image source: Reddit
The majority of the cats are stray, but they are looked after collectively by residents who live here. Cat lovers from all over the world come here to experience this cat haven. There are even statues and cat theme decorations throughout the village.

23. The World's smallest house, Warsaw

The world's smallest house ever is located in Warsaw, Poland. It was built in 2021 by architect Jakub Szczesny and it is a building nestled in between two others. The widest point only reaches to 1.2 meters. Somehow, the home manages to function with the use of a very creative living space.
Image source: Reddit
Each nook and cranny serves a purpose in the pursuit of efficient and creative living. While the world's smallest house stands as a testament to human ingenuity, it remains unoccupied, leaving visitors awe-inspired by its innovative design and the boundless potential within the tiniest of spaces.

24. The Dune House, England

Another special piece of architecture is The Dune House in England. It was specifically designed to blend in with the coastal landscape and from a distance it really does resemble sand dunes. It was built in 2012 and the glass part of the house offers a full panoramic view of the coastline.
Image source: Reddit
The house is now lived in by a family who bought it for a hefty price tag. It's a dwelling that transcends traditional boundaries to become one with the land it graces—a testament to the beauty that unfolds when architecture and nature dance in perfect harmony.

25. The container city, England

Discover how these repurposed containers, once traversing the world's oceans, have found a new purpose as the building blocks of a thriving residential community. The Container City was a development born out of a project trying to create sustainable living space in urban areas.
Image source: Reddit
Old shipping containers were used and put together to form a housing project where families currently reside. Due to a lack of housing, and a lack of affordable housing, the Container City was intended to show an innovative solution to a current problem!

26. The village on stilts, Japan

Shrakwa-go is often referred to across the globe as the village on stilts. The village is situated in the mountains of Japan and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The houses have been built from trees, and the purpose of the stilts is to keep the houses well above the water.
Image source: Reddit
The thatched roofs are intended to prevent snow from gathering and they are also intended to appear as hands praying. Shrakwa-go stands as a living testament to the harmonious blend of nature and human ingenuity. The architectural marvel has fascinated observers from around the globe.

27. The Frank Lloyd Wright waterfall home

The Frank Lloyd Wright waterfall home is one of the most astounding houses and pieces of architecture. The house has been built upon a waterfall and integrated so that the house actually appears to become a part of the waterfall, looking as natural as possible.
Image source: Reddit
The house was commissioned by the Kaufmann family as a house to spend the weekends, situated among nature, and it was completed in 1939. It stands as a testament to design innovation but also as a celebration of the beauty inherent in the natural world.

28. The Bubble houses of France

The unique Bubble Houses in France have so been named, understandably, due to their iconic bubble-like appearance. They were designed to blend in with the surrounding area and nature and have become known for their unconventional use of architecture.
Image source: Reddit
They have also been designed as energy-efficient, sustainable homes and they are inhabited by permanent residents and some tourists who stay in the bubble hotels. These houses have become a destination where the line between art and architecture blurs.

29. Earthship homes

Earthship homes have one goal, to be as sustainable and self-sufficient as possible so that they are kinder to the Earth. They are made from recycled materials and they use renewable energy. They are designed and positioned to take heat and energy from the sun.
Image source: Reddit
Earthships are not only found in one region, they are growing in popularity all over the world due to the climate crisis and the immediate need to search for better, earth-friendlier solutions. Earthships embody the principles of ecological responsibility.

30. The Airplane home, Costa Rica

Boeing 727 is located in Costa Rica. It is a home made from an old, decomposition airplane. It is very cost-efficient to tun and energy efficient. It was once a home to a permanent family but it has not been turned into a kind of hotel where guests can pay to experience a unique place to stay.
Image source: Reddit
It has been rated as the best novelty hotel of the year due to its unique quality and modern inside renovations. The Boeing 727 home has garnered attention for its modern interior renovations, providing guests with a comfortable and unique living experience.

31. More of the strangest places around the world you can actually visit: Spotted Lake, Canada

Of all the amazing lakes in the world, this is one of the most unique, due to the spotted pattern that appears on its surface. The small circles appear in the summer months, when the water of the lake evaporates and leaves behind these small mineral pools you can see, each one a different color.
image source: roughguides.com
The distinctive circles that emerge on its surface are a result of mineral-rich deposits left behind as the water recedes. The lake is so unique that it's respected by the native Okanagan people. These vibrant blue/green hues create a visually stunning mosaic.

32. Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

The Giant's Causeway, located on the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland, stands as one of nature's most remarkable creations and a testament to the Earth's geological wonders. Ireland is home to some pretty stunning natural spots, but none are stranger than the Giant's Causeway.
image source: roughguides.com
The site is formed of a huge volcanic eruption that happened millions of years ago, leaving behind cracks in the basalt rock. Now you can find a great number of these strange stone columns, with the added legend that they came into being because of a giant.

33. Thor's Well, USA

You might not think the God of Thunder and water mix, but that hasn't stopped Thor's Well gaining its reputation! This strange spot in Oregan, USA, is also known as the Spouting Horn, which is a huge sinkhole that can be seen surrounded by the violent water around it.
image source: atlasobscura.com
As the water rushes into the sinkhole, it's then shot straight back out of it with the force of a god! Despite the potential hazards, Thor's Well remains a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers seeking to witness the awe-inspiring forces of nature.

34. Pamukkale, Turkey

This site is so strangely unique that it's protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so definitely one for the travel list, too. Found in southwest Turkey, these ancient ruins are also known as Cotton Palace, where you can find natural water springs and thermal pools at the site of a now-lost ancient city.
image source: roughguides.com
You can even take a swim in the thermal pools, too! The terraces, resembling a cascading cotton-like landscape, are formed by the flow of mineral-rich thermal waters descending from natural springs at the top of the terraces. It all creates the most beautiful spectacle!

35. Lake Hillier, Western Australia

The strangest thing about this lake is that vibrant pink color to the water, unlike any you might have seen before! This lake is one of the largest in the Recherche Archipelago in Western Australia. Even more strange is the fact that the pink color stays all year round, no matter the season.
image source: roughguides.com
And, it's believed this is due to the combination of salinity and an algae species that likes salt! The microorganism thrives in the salt-rich environment of the lake, and when it produces these pigments, it gives the water a vibrant pink or reddish tint.

36. Badab-e Surt, Iran

These natural limestone formations can be found in northern Iran, offering a beautiful orange color worthy of an Instagram snap or two. It's taken thousands of years for these limestone terraces to develop, due to the calcium deposit in the water here, where two hot springs can be found.
image source: roughguides.com
The iron content in one of the springs causes that bright reddish color. Over the course of thousands of years, these mineral deposits have built up, creating the unique and picturesque stepped formations that we see today and which thousands flock to see.

37. The Tianzi Mountains, China

Another shoutout for incredible limestone formations, these ones are found in the Hunan Province of China, offering a strange and spectacular place with these huge towering columns covered in greenery - not to mention an eerie mist that can often surround them.
image source: roughguides.com
You can even take a cable car to get a look at these formations! These unique geological features, often shrouded in mist, are a result of quartzite sandstone erosion over millions of years. The park is home to thousands of slender, towering pillars, some of which are over 600 feet tall.

38. The Nazca Lines, Peru

Located in Pampa de San Jose in Peru are these very unusual and unexplained shapes. You can only spot them full from the air, so you'd have to take a plane or helicopter up there to see, where they reveal lines that measure even 200 metres in length.
image source: roughguides.com
The mystery remains of how they came to be, with the lines depicting gigantic animals and the shapes of human figures. Visitors to Zhangjiajie can explore the surreal beauty of the towering columns by walking along trails and across precarious bridges.

39. The Bermuda Triangle, North Atlantic Ocean

We all know the mysteries surrounding the Bermuda Triangle right now, but if you're into the weird and wonderful, why not take a trip there? Or at least as close as you can get without being directly in it... Found in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Bermuda Triangle is shrouded in mystery.
image source: roughguides.com
The conspiracy theories range massively from natural explanations such as rapid changes in weather, magnetic anomalies, and methane hydrate eruptions to much more speculative ideas involving extraterrestrial interference or even underwater city ruins.

40. Socotra Island, Yemen

This island in Yemen is very mysterious indeed - and very remote. Socotra's unique biodiversity is a result of its isolation and a range of ecological factors. Because the island has such a strangely unique biodiversity, it results in types of trees and plants that you can't find anywhere else in the world.
image source: roughguides.com
The most unusual of these is the twisted dragon's blood tree with its weaving branches, as well as the bottle tree. It certainly feels like you've stepped onto a different planet and it's earned Socotra the nickname "the alien island" or "the most alien place on Earth."

41. The Hand in the Desert, Chile

While this huge hand in the Chilean desert isn't a natural formation - which would be extremely weird - it's still one of the strangest things you can see poking out of the desert sand! Created by Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrazabal, the work out art can be found around 46 miles south of Antofagasta.
image source: roughguides.com
The piece gives off a distinct eerie and lonely feel to it, that you'll need to see in person to get the full effect of! Its remote location and geopolitical challenges have kept tourism relatively low which just further contributes to the mystery and isolation of the place.

42. Chocolate Hills of Bohol Island, The Philippines

No, you can't eat them, unfortunately, but you can visit them and bask in their weird wonder! Found in the Philippines, these formations are strange cone-shaped hills dotted about the middle of the island. They each have different heights, but their shape stays the same.
image source: roughguides.com
It's said that they came about as a result of coral deposits and rainwater erosion. These hills get their name because during the dry season, the grass covering them turns brown, resembling chocolate. In contrast, the rain of the wet season brings about the lush greenery.

43. Red Beach, China

You might think it would feel a little ominous to be on a beach that looks to have completely red sand rather than golden white, but this unique beach in China is truly remarkable! The red hue comes from a form of seaweed called Sueda, and this seaweed turns a bright red during autumn.
image source: roughguides.com
You won't be able to walk anywhere trough the red seaweed if you visit, but you can walk along the wooden walkways there! The contrast between the red beach and the green vegetation in the surrounding wetlands makes it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

44. Plain of Jars, Laos

There are some very strange megalithic stones across the world, but perhaps none so weird as these stone jars found in Laos, that just seem to have been dropped and scattered about. Some believe the jars were once used in funeral ceremonies from ancient times.
image source: roughguides.com
But there's another legend that giants used the jars to brew their rice wine! What do you think? Due to limited archaeological evidence, the exact purpose and origin of the stone jars remain unclear. The Plain of Jars has become an archaeological and historical puzzle.

45. Goblin Valley State Park, USA

This valley found close to Salt Lake City in Utah is completely uninhabited, revealing some very strange sandstone structures that some believe look like goblins. The sandstone in this location has been subject to wind and water, which is how these unique formations have ended up coming into being.
image source: roughguides.com
There are also marked trails if you want to visit these weird and wonderful 'goblin' formations! The park is not only a geological wonder but also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking an unusual and fascinating natural landscape.

46. Whale Bone Alley, Siberia

Off the coast of Alaska, there is this remote stretch of land close to the shore, which has been labelled Whale Bone Alley. The name comes from the huge ominous whale bones left behind scattered on the land, including huge jawbones, ribs and backbones.
image source: roughguides.com
The bones are erected in such a way that it forms a sort of alleyway to walk between. Understandably, it's become a unique tourist destination. Researchers believe that Whale Bone Alley may have served a ritualistic function for the native people who inhabited the area.

47. Glass Beach, USA

Although the idea of shimmering sea glass lying by the water might sound somewhat strange and magical, it's actually as a result of tons of garbage being dumped onto the beach. Everything that was deposited on the beach, including cans and bottles, was eventually broken down by the sea.
image source: roughguides.com
It then breaks down and forms glass over time. While the glass originates from discarded items, the beauty of sea glass lies in the transformation it undergoes through natural processes. The end result is often considered a unique and attractive feature of certain beaches.

48. The Catacombs, France

Many people have heard creepy tales of the catacombs beneath the city of Paris. While some of the pathways are open for tourists to take tours, some of them remain strictly closed off, making it even more creepy. The network of tunnels showcases eerie displays of skulls and bones.
image source: roughguides.com
A lot of these were taken from graveyards in the 18th and 19th centuries when they ran out of space! The experience serves as a historical and cultural reminder of the challenges faced by Paris in managing its deceased population. It serves as a poignant reminder!

49. Fly Geyser, USA

The stunning color display of this unique geyser in Nevada, USA, is enough to make you want to see it in person! Found on this private area of land, the formation of this ethereal geyser actually came from manmade efforts, when an energy company did some drilling into the ground.
image source: roughguides.com
This caused the geothermal water to create a fountain that results in this stunning color pattern. In the early 20th century, a well was drilled, but due to mineral deposits and the high pressure of geothermal water, it created the colorful and unique formation we see today.

50. Cat Island, Japan

Another strange place in the world is an island of cats, found in Japan. If you're a feline lover, you'd surely want to live here, right? Cat Island can be found by a short ferry ride, where cat numbers go beyond the number of humans. Originally more cats were bred in Japan because they were needed to fend off mice!
image source: roughguides.com
Mice, who might sabotage silk production. The cats on Tashirojima are considered to bring good luck, and feeding them is actually encouraged. But, there are rules to adhere to, to ensure the well-being of the cats and maintain a balance in their ecosystem.