These places are not for the faint of heart.

The world is a big place, with an astonishing amount of variety. Some of those places are beautiful and serene. They’re pleasant, tourist destinations. Others, though, either through their freakish environments or their strange histories, are the opposite. These aren’t places you’d want to visit, unless you have some kind of fascination with the morbid. Some of these places will disturb your dreams just because you know they exist.

So, whether you want to know what to avoid, or you actually want to seek them out, here’s a look at two of the creepiest places on Earth.

Freeman Ranch Body Farm

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If you watch any show involving forensics, you’ve probably heard an expert talk about how human bodies decompose. After all, any time, both on screen and real life, that authorities find a body, they want to know the time of death. But chances are you’ve never thought about how experts know how the human body decomposes. But that’s actually a difficult problem. In order to have any scientific knowledge on the subject, they need empirical evidence.

In other words, they need to watch real bodies decompose.

Enter the body farm. These are places where the corpses of people who explicitly donate their bodies are left out in the elements for students of forensics (and other scientists) to study. Some have cages placed around them, as shown above, to prevent vultures and the like from reaching them; others don’t, and are quickly devoured by scavengers. There are only five body farms in the world, all of which are in the US, as these places would be illegal in most other countries. The largest, at seven acres, is operated by Texas State University at Freeman Ranch. (There are multiple body farms because scientists need to study how different temperatures and climates affect decomposition.)

 

Some may dismiss these places as not that creepy, as the intent behind them as actually beneficial to society, and not at all evil. And maybe, in a way, they’re right. But creepiness is subjective, and others may think of it this way: body farms combine the shock value of a mass grave with the added creepy-factor of scientists being there to study them.

For more details about body farms, I recommend this Vox article.

Lake Natron (The ‘Blood Lake’)

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That’s an aerial image of Lake Natron, in Tanzania, known for its blood-red waters. Because of high evaporation rates, it has an extremely high alkalinity (a ph near 12!), which is where red algae thrive.

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But what really elevates this lake beyond “weird” to “creepy as fuck” is the fact that it will kill most animals so quickly, that it literally mummifies them. This is because of the combination of the high alkalinity with extremely high temperatures, which sometimes reach 60 degrees Celsius. Animals that comes into contact with the lake for too long die. The resulting process is very similar to Ancient Egyptians’ mummification.

So, to recap, this is a lake that turns blood red and turns anything that comes too close into a mummy. How is there not already a horror movie about this place!?

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