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World's Strangest Places

Neft Daslari (Oil Rocks), Azerbaijan

Remi Benali/Corbis

Neft Daşları, Azerbaijan

Originally planned as a rough 30-mile strip of road built atop lined-up oil tankers, Neft Daşları grew into much more than just a way to reach a drilling platform in the Caspian Sea. “Oil Rocks,” as it is often known, soon began incorporating houses, schools, shops, libraries, bakeries, and other civic structures. Now this full-fledged town has 5,000 residents, 124 miles of streets, and a cinema—a bizarre industrial version of Venice in miniature.

Insider Tip: Skip the arduous three-and-a-half-hour ferry ride from Baku, Azerbaijan’s most easterly point, and rent The World Is Not Enough, in which James Bond battles it out on a replica of Neft Daşları.

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