World’s 5 Most Unusual Parks

“The Mouth of Hell” greets you at Bomarzo Monster Park

A far cry from the usual lakes, hills and beaches; these parks are not meant to please but to astonish the visitor

“The Mouth of Hell” greets you at Bomarzo Monster Park
“The Mouth of Hell” greets you at Bomarzo Monster Park

From astonishing sculptures in gardens to a submerged lake park that you have to access by scuba diving, we’ve rounded up a list of unusual parks that you must visit once in your lifetime.

Let us know the mysteries you uncover when you visit.

Spreepark, Germany

This abandoned roller-coaster track was seen in the movie Hanna
This abandoned roller-coaster track was seen in the movie Hanna

Spreepark, or Kulturpark Plänterwald (its old name), was an amusement park that opened in 1969, in Kulturpark Plänterwald in the Republic of East Germany. Since 1999 it had to deal with large debts. Spreepark has been locked in a deep slumber since it closed in 2001.

In 2011, scenes for the movie Hanna were filmed in the abandoned park, including one of the final action scenes with Cate Blanchett and Saoirse Ronan.

Today, this abandoned park still fascinates local and foreign explorers alike. Exploration isn’t possible without getting a thumping heartbeat and goosebumps.

The eerie remnants include the gaping jaws of a fearsome psychedelic cat at the roller-coaster tunnel, a Ferris wheel what shifts idly in the wind, and a row of swan boats that stare at you with their beady eyes.

Don’t be surprised if you hear strange sounds, occasionally.

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Bomarzo Monster Park, Italy

Bomarzo Monster Park may seem for some like it is out of a nightmare. It was com-missioned in 1552 by Pier Francesco Orsini, who wanted to create a shocking “Villa of Wonders” in memory of his beloved late wife.

Upon entering, the message that greets visitors is already intriguing: “You who enter this place, observe it piece by piece and tell me afterwards whether so many marvels were created for deception or purely for art.”

The park is filled with bizarre mythical sculptures. Among them are a war elephant, a giant tearing another giant apart, a dragon attacked by two lions and a turtle with a winged woman on its back. There is even a tilted house there.

Perhaps the most terrifying piece is Orcus or the “Mouth of Hell”, which is a giant face with a screaming mouth. The accompanying inscription reads, “All reason departs.” It may make you feel like departing immediately.

Grüner See (Green Lake), Austria

Grüner See has submerged trees, hiking trails, bridge and bench
Grüner See has submerged trees, hiking trails, bridge and bench

Grüner See or “Green Lake” in Tragöss, Austria is known for its shimmering waters of emerald-green hues. Every spring, melting snow from the nearby glacial summits leaves the park completely submerged, creating a veritable dreamscape.

The lake’s depth reaches some 30 feet and provides a unique experience for scuba divers. You can dive in to explore the spectacular underwater park, fully adorned with shrubbery, hiking trails, and even submerged bridge and bench.

The submerged trees in the clear, colourful waters complete the magical look.

The Morning Glory Pool looks  like it leads to another dimension
The Morning Glory Pool looks like it leads to another dimension

Yellowstone National Park, USA

The geological area of Yellowstone National Park was formed some 640,000 years ago when a sudden eruption devastated the landscape within minutes. Today, it is much more than hot ground and gushing steam.

Yellowstone Park encloses geysers, alpine lakes, deep canyons, and vast forests. Its list of wildlife includes elk, bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, trumpeter swans, the legendary (and threatened) bison, and more.

Most of the park rests atop the slumbering volcano that erupted half a million years ago. The iconic spots — Old Faithful, Lower Falls and Yellowstone Lake — are familiar from photographs and documentaries but seeing them with your own eyes is an enthralling experience.

The Morning Glory Pool looks like a portal to an alien realm.

Bryce Canyon National Park, USA

Native Americans believe these “hoodoos” were evil people who were turned into stone
Native Americans believe these “hoodoos” were evil people who were turned into stone

 

Thousands of delicately-carved spires rise in brilliant colour from the amphitheatres of Bryce Canyon National Park. These pinnacles, called “hoodoos”, were believed to have been wicked people turned into stone, according to Native American lore.

They were actually formed by “frost-wedging” and chemical weathering. Firstly, freezing meltwater expands, tearing the
rocks apart. Furthermore, acidic rainwater slowly dissolves the limestone, carving it into fantastic shapes.

By Lim Wan Ling