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World's Strangest Places

Blood Falls, Antarctica

In Victoria Land (a region directly south of New Zealand), a murderous hue of what looks like blood stains the white face of the 35-mile-long Taylor Glacier. Blood Falls, as this macabre vision is called, is not in fact a frozen cascade of hemoglobin. The scarlet tint derives from a community of sulfur-eating bacteria that dwell deep beneath the glacier in underground lakes—their crimson iron-oxide excretions dye the ice. But death does lurk in the vicinity: so arid are the McMurdo Dry Valleys that when lost seals and penguins wander irreversibly inland, they never decompose. Their mummified remains are strewn about, completing the ghoulish picture.

See It: Snag a cabin on the final voyage of Kapitan Khlebnikov, a Russian icebreaker that will spend 10 days in the region in October of next year before returning back to the service of the Kremlin.

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