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13 natural rock formations that look man-made

By: Angela Nelson on July 19, 2016, 12:40 p.m.
Travertine deposits in Pamukkale, Turkey

Photo: John_Walker/Shutterstock

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Pamukkale

Pamukkale is one of Turkey's top attractions, and it's easy to see why. With its expansive bleached terraces and brilliant blue pools, Pamukkale, which means "cotton castle" in Turkish, looks just like its name suggests.

The travertine basins are filled with thermal spring water and get their white color from calcite deposited by the water as it pours over the edges of the pools. That calcite-laden water also creates petrified waterfalls that look frozen in time.

Locals and tourists alike have bathed in these pools for thousands of years. These days, however, protections are in place to safeguard this gorgeous historical site. Visitors cannot wear shoes, for example, to protect the mineral deposits. And many hotels that had been built nearby were demolished when it became a World Heritage Site since 1988, because the hotels were damaging the terraces.