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World's Strangest Places

Eye of the Sahara, Mauritania

At ground level it’s difficult to make out the shape radiating from where you stand. This 30-mile-wide series of concentric rings in the town of Ouadane calls to mind crop circles. But it wasn’t etched by aliens or fashioned by pranksters with too much time on their hands. The upwelling of sedimentary rock has naturally eroded to create what appears to be a rippled pond frozen in the moment after a pebble has disturbed its surface.

Stay Safe: Bad roads and banditry mean overland travel in Mauritania is neither easy nor advisable. For the best perspective, hop a charter flight from nearby Morocco—the Eye of the Sahara is clearly visible from space.

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