This picture was taken in March 2005 when Death Valley had a tremendous display of wildflowers after an extremely wet year. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Niagara Falls might seem impressive to those who haven't heard of Angel Falls in Venezuela. But Niagara pales in comparison to this extreme spot in Canaima National Park. At 3,212 feet, Angel Falls take the cake for the highest falls in the entire world and as one of Venezuela's most popular tourist attractions, getting there involves a plane through the jungle, and then a trip down the river in a wooden boat.
Victoria Falls in Zambia is home to the ominous-sounding Devil's Pool, dubbed the world's "most dangerous pool." A naturally formed infinity pool that is relatively safe for swimmers during the dry season, the low water levels wash rocks closer to the surface, forming a lip that just barely stops tourists from tumbling over the edge and down the 360-foot drop. Thrill-seekers can swim right up to- and hang over- the precipice to get the most extreme vacation photo.
Mount Everest is a household name when it comes to mountains, but Canada's Mount Thor deserves more recognition for serious climbers. Thor holds the record for the world's greatest vertical drop: 4,100 feet. Even if you're not a climber, just observing the crazy cliff drop is enough to cause your heart to pound. Mount Thor is also only relatively newly explored- the first climb was completed in 1953.
California's Death Valley was once thought to be the hottest place on earth, where the highest recorded temperature hit 134 degrees Fahrenheit. But that record has been shattered, first by Al Azizyah desert in Libya with 136 degrees, and then by Lut desert in Iran which then reached 159 degrees. No matter which place really holds the record of hottest place; it takes a lot of willpower to brave any extreme temps because it's a far cry from a lounge chair on the beach!
by Jessica Dysart, Contributing Author