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World's Strangest Natural Wonders

Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

Quarter-inch-long bioluminescent glowworms that radiate a tiny blue light dangle from the ceiling of these caves deep in the lush, subtropical hills of New Zealand’s North Island. Visitors ride in an inflatable raft along the underground Waitomo River with Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours. Slowly adjusting to the darkness, they admire what looks like a turquoise starscape.

Why It’s Cool: Glowworms, which dangle sticky, filamentous “fishing lines” to catch insects, are scattered throughout many other caves, but their densely concentrated numbers here make this grotto unique in the world.

—April Orcutt

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