Experiences similar to total eclipse
August 22, 2017 1:41 PM   Subscribe

What other experiences could I seek out that are on par with the wonder of seeing a total solar eclipse?

My husband and I made a last-minute decision to drive to Nebraska to see the total eclipse - it was incredible, and I want to feel like that again! What other experiences/places bring about the same feelings of awe and wonder? I do plan to see the Northern Lights at some point (we just missed them last fall in Iceland, argh), but that's the only other thing that immediately springs to mind. It could be a place, a work of art, an experience, an encounter... anything that has really blown your mind and made you feel incredibly lucky to be alive!
posted by GoldenEel to Travel & Transportation (63 answers total) 162 users marked this as a favorite
Grand Canyon
Giant Sequoias
Scuba Diving
Meteor Shower
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 1:48 PM on August 22, 2017 [6 favorites]

I like going to places that have totally different outdoor experiences and weather than the boring New England climate (which of course changes all the time). I went to Death Valley, CA in September a few years ago, and it was 120°F, and it was amazing.

And not just the temperature--I went to Oslo, Norway, over Christmas one year, and it got dark at 2 in the afternoon--incredible! Now I want to go to Australia or someplace near the equator, because, so I've heard, it gets dark very quickly, and I want to experience that too.

Love this question.
posted by Melismata at 1:50 PM on August 22, 2017

I have seen the wildebeest migration by land and by air and it is astonishing.
posted by lalex at 1:53 PM on August 22, 2017 [7 favorites]

Anything by Christo and Jeanne-Claude (now just Christo). Only one project remains on the table, if it happens.
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:01 PM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

It's not on the same level as the eclipse, but I really want to see the Balloon Fiesta at least once.
posted by cgg at 2:11 PM on August 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

You might check out my previous question, What natural phenomena are worth a trip?
posted by benbenson at 2:26 PM on August 22, 2017 [6 favorites]

Check out Atlas Obscura for some wonderful experiences.

I just got back from hiking the Swiss Alps. Some of the trails aren't conducive to the average tourist, so if you can find and manage those you will be rewarded. I'd pack a lunch, and end up eating it at some of the most breathtaking vistas I've ever seen.

Stonehenge is a spectacle for me every time I've visited, and it's been three times.

In Asia, quiet temples in remote areas can be very peaceful and zen-like. Again, you have to find times that are off-season or early enough in the day that the millions of selfie-stick wielders are still asleep!

Closer to home, Death Valley is my favorite national park. In particular, Zabriskie Point at sunset was memorable for me. You just have to pick off-season times when it isn't brutally hot. Zion in Utah is also breathtaking.

Celestial events like eclipses and auroras are unique in that they are awe-inspiring yet fleeting. There are an infinite number of places you could travel to in the world where views are breathtaking; but they're always there, and you may not experience the same type of awe that an eclipse inspires. That said, I've always found that experiencing a sunrise or sunset at a place that is beautiful to begin with adds to its magical nature.
posted by Everydayville at 2:27 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

- Aurora Borealis or Aurora Australis. Alberta, CA has auroras fairly often, also Iceland. The KP index got to 6 last night, so even Maine probably had some aurora, but I was sleeping. Sorry you missed it.
- Milky Way - there are several Natl. Parks with Dark Sky designations. Many years ago, on Crete, we saw the stars in a very dark sky after the village generator was shut off. magical.
- Missile launch.
- Midnight sun.
- You just missed the Perseid meteor shower - peaks @ 8/12 every year.
- Grand Canyon. My son saw it via helicopter, but even from the edge, breathtaking.
- I'd like to see glaciers(especially while I can).
- Yellowstone - Old Faithful, at night, full moon, and a thunder/lightning storm in the distance - is the most amazing thing.
- I'm planning to visit Acadia Natl. Park again for sunrise at Cadillac Mountain.
posted by theora55 at 2:34 PM on August 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

My husband and I made a last-minute decision to drive to Nebraska to see the total eclipse - it was incredible, and I want to feel like that again!

In a short seven years there will be yet another total solar eclipse you can observe: April 8th, 2024.
posted by ringu0 at 2:34 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Kawa Ijen

N'thing the Perseid meteor shower

the Canyon country of southern Utah


Dark, dark dark night sky (difficult to find these days)
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:39 PM on August 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

I've been to Grand Canyon, but I was very sorry to miss Monument Valley.

One of my brothers has traveled all over the world, and he said the only things that really impressed him (might have meant in the U.S.) were the Tetons, Grand Canyon, and the lights of Las Vegas visible scores of miles away.
posted by jgirl at 3:02 PM on August 22, 2017

Reiterating those who said Grand Canyon, I'm way too cool to find joy in natural wonders and my mind was blown.

Also, go to your local astronomy joint and look in the telescopes.
posted by OrangeVelour at 3:10 PM on August 22, 2017

The closest thing I can think of for the brief and sudden sense of awe is a close encounter with a wild animal much larger than you but for obvious reasons they're difficult to plan and may present certain safety risks.

But a couple of weekends ago I offered to take my neighbors for a boat ride while their parents were visiting. They wanted to try their hand at salmon fishing so I took them trolling; while we were putting along very slowly, 50 feet from shore, a trio of humpbacks split the distance between us and the beach, each surfacing in turn about 25 - 30 feet from the boat -- close enough that you could make eye contact. Whatever else the neighbors and their visitors did on their vacation I'm pretty sure that's going to be one of the experiences they all remember.
posted by Nerd of the North at 3:13 PM on August 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

Also: if you don't mind hiking up in the pre-dawn, try sunrise from the top of a really prominent mountain peak sometime. It can be pretty incredible to watch the first light of morning sweep across the earth spread out below you.
posted by Nerd of the North at 3:16 PM on August 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

  • Nthing Yellowstone. So many many many wonders there, not just Old Faithful. Magical place.
  • Whale watching from the San Juans -- Seeing a pod of orcas is amazing
  • Hawaii! Biking to the lava that flows into the ocean on Big Island, diving with manta rays...
  • Carlsbad Caverns

posted by rouftop at 3:19 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Iguazu Falls.

(For the last ten minutes I have been trying to come up with the words to convey in this comment what an astounding sight they are, and failing.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:29 PM on August 22, 2017 [9 favorites]

Watching a pride of lions roaring simultaneously with only a chain link fence between me and them was an awesome experience I will never forget, courtesy of the big cat sanctuary in North Carolina.

The midnight sun in Norway was something to behold as well. Also, dip yourself in the glacial runoff if you are there.
posted by sockermom at 3:30 PM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

As far as natural phenomena go, Crater Lake in south central Oregon* is far and away the bluest water I've ever seen in my life. (A volcanic caldera fed purely by rain and snowfall, it reflects the sky with a mirror sheen.) And there's several feet of snow on the ground there well into June - they get 40+ feet of snow every year - and let me tell you, being able to build a snowman in weather warm enough to not need a jacket is really something.

*I'm biased - it's less than an hour's drive from my house
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 3:32 PM on August 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

I am not a "pretty scenery" person at all, but Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is just absurdly and unreasonably gorgeous.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:35 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

We saw huge blocks falling off the face of the Perito Moreno Glacier, and it was one of THE coolest things I've ever seen.

I'd also add seeing Uluru for the first time in the distance, and realising how far we are away and how big it must be, was a pretty amazing feeling.

Not a natural phenomenon, but seeing a display routine performed by fighter jets (Blue Angels in the US) is amazing. Having a low and fast pass (especially a sneak pass) come over you is a whole body experience.

if you are talking experiences, not just "seeing things", I'd say the memory of finishing a huge physical challenge brings back the same type of emotional response. I can remember the feeling crossing the finishing line of an Ironman triathlon very vividly.
posted by trialex at 3:46 PM on August 22, 2017

Watching a sunrise from a mountaintop is quite memorable. A friend and I once climbed Mount Monadnock in the middle of the night, and there's nothing quite like being able to see the entire horizon start to glow while the stars are still shining in the opposite direction... and seeing that first beam of sunlight hit the entire landscape is really something. (Mount Monadnock is particularly well-suited for this because it's appreciably tall without being a too-strenuous climb, and the top is bare in all directions. I'm sure there are other such mountains around the world.)
posted by Funeral march of an old jawbone at 4:00 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I don't know if everyone who views it is as blown away as I am, but every year we watch the Vaughn Swifts do their whirling tornado of bird into a chimney, while fending off hawk attacks. It's dramatic, hypnotic and so much damn fun.

This is one of those events where video and pictures just doesn't do it justice.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:02 PM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I felt that way when I had my first really incredible snorkeling experience.
I spent some times in cenotes in Mexico that felt really magical.
Traveling through Iceland felt pretty WOW.
posted by ReluctantViking at 4:06 PM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Seconding Perito Moreno glacier. For me it wasn't the sight so much as the sound. A few people have already said Iceland, but for me, it was specifically hearing the geothermal vents in Reykjadalur valley. The black sands at Reynisfjara are also spectacular.

I found the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to be positively psychedelic.
posted by Rora at 4:30 PM on August 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

scuba diving on a coral reef

bio-luminescent algae
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:13 PM on August 22, 2017

I found the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to be positively psychedelic.
yes, this! one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:14 PM on August 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

This is more of a multiple-day-long event rather than a place or a fleeting event, but I have never experienced anything like the Brood X cicadas in 2004. The sheer number of bugs and the noise they collectively made was astounding. We are due for another emergence in four years, and this summer we had a bit of a preview with the early birds. Already looking forward to 2021.
posted by chaoticgood at 5:26 PM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

This is a smol one but I went to the Devil's Punchbowl in the Antelope Valley area of California and it was so quiet that the blood rushing in my ears became the loudest thing around and I had I guess the closest thing to a spiritual experience that I'm ever gonna have. I'm sure there are other desert places with similar quietude.
posted by ftm at 5:55 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Tunnel View at Yosemite is touristy but remains shockingly breathtaking nonetheless. I teared up when I saw the Valley for the first time.

+1 to the Grand Canyon. Go on a ranger nighttime talk when they point out constellations. If it's clear, you can see the Milky Way, and it's by far my favorite use of taxpayer dollars I've ever experienced. I really liked the Grand Canyon in winter.

The red rocks of Sedona are otherworldly and gorgeous.

Joshua Tree is like a Dr Seuss book!
posted by mostly vowels at 6:03 PM on August 22, 2017

Not sure if I'm being helpful or contrarian but:

-the view of New York City from the Queensboro Bridge, sparing you the entire line from Fitzgerald
-a drive down Lakeshore Drive at night
-a few aimless minutes in Grand Central Station watching the world catch its train and scurry off to somewhere in the grand Grand Concourse.

I felt like there should be some wonders made by man on the list and I have found each of these truly humbling and life affirming.
posted by Smearcase at 6:06 PM on August 22, 2017 [10 favorites]

Sand dunes at Sossusvlei, Namibia, and then drive north up the coast - basically as close to Mars as you will ever get.
posted by raspberrE at 6:28 PM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

The first view of the Treasury from the bottom of the Siq in Petra.

Snorkelling in the Galapagos.

Hot air ballooning at Goreme, Turkey.

Seeing the night sky from a truly remote location.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 6:43 PM on August 22, 2017

The Pyramids. Oh, sure, you think, but I've seen city skylines and buildings that are four times as tall. I can assure you that you will forget such crass inanities as skyscrapers ever existed as you are driven closer and closer and closer and dear god how fucking big is that thing and they built it when?!?
posted by Etrigan at 7:02 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nthing glacier calving, Grand Canyon and whales breaching. I'll add tarantula migration in New Mexico.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 7:09 PM on August 22, 2017

Good stuff! We were thinking over some of the other awe-inspiring experiences we've had, and I thought I'd share as well for anyone who is using this thread for ideas (hope that's not too chatty)! Top of our list is Jokulsarlon Lagoon in Iceland - we were absolutely gobsmacked. The view from the top of a mountain outside of Bariloche, Argentina - pristine mountain lakes as far as the eye can see. And our first glimpse of the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania.
posted by GoldenEel at 7:58 PM on August 22, 2017

The four Galilean moons of Jupiter, through a backyard telescope (or binoculars even!). BASICALLY YOU'RE LIKE GALILEO. This tool helps you pick them out and know which is which. You're looking at this tiny bright disc in the sky, you pick up your binoculars, and suddenly it has four teeny-tiny companions in their slow majestic dance around it -- literally just like Galileo saw in 1610 (at about the same magnification if you're using binoculars!). I gasped aloud in awe and my brain buzzed for hours after the first time I saw them.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:00 PM on August 22, 2017 [6 favorites]

Check out Banff National Park in Canada. My friends and I were gobsmacked at how beautiful it was. We went in summer, FYI.
posted by christiehawk at 8:04 PM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by bondcliff at 8:58 PM on August 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

The only other experiences I've had that are close to that scale were a really good meteor shower near Death Valley where you could simultaneously see the milky way to a ridiculous degree, and the Hale-Bopp comet.

The good news is meteor showers occur much more often, but unlike an eclipse, you never really know what your going to get. Viewing location is important.

I'm not sure when the next comet of that magnitude will be around. I'm pretty certain I won't be around to see it.
posted by -t at 9:01 PM on August 22, 2017

Climb a glaciated mountain. Guided trips up Mount Baker or Mount Rainier in Washington State require little training and only decent conditioning, and there's absolutely nothing like seeing the sun rise on a glacier. Mountaineering tends to be seriously addictive. Just like the eclipse, you'll want to experience it again and again.

Also, fall in love again. Nothing compares.
posted by halogen at 9:11 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

The big one on my list is seeing the aurora.

Along the lines of those saying scuba dive — yes, absolutely. Bioluminescense is amazing, but also, you can see the coral spawning.
posted by Brittanie at 9:34 PM on August 22, 2017

Apply for the road lottery in Denali National Park in the fall. It's amazing.
posted by fshgrl at 9:41 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

On the natural phenomena angle, I have a thing about someday going to a Great Lakes city in January, and not a wimpy one like Chicago.
posted by rhizome at 10:55 PM on August 22, 2017

Two of my top ones from the past--not sure how to replicate these in the future, but there might be some opportunities--plus one on my bucket list:

- Viewing Comet Hyakutake with naked eye in 1996. The astonishing thing here is that the comet + tail was stretching across about 85 degrees of the sky (sketch and explanation). Length of the comet tail at that point was about 360 million miles--or nearly 4X the distance from the earth to the sun. That was fleeting, amazingly beautiful, really, really huge, and yet just fit nicely into our visual field using the naked eye.

This was by far the largest thing I have ever seen that was also, very obviously and viscerally, tremendously huge. For example, you can see galaxies in a telescope that are much larger, but visually speaking they are a small and pretty indistinct smudge.

This comet tail was really, really huge in a way that made it quite obvious that here was a thing that was tremendously larger than the Earth or any planet or even the Sun, and yet there it was to be seen with just the naked eye.

And . . . scientists actually thought it was impossible for a comet's tail to stretch across that length of our visual field from Earth's perspective--though later it was proved to be possible under quite precise conditions that just happened to be in place at that exact time. Explanation at the link above.

- Watching piece of Comet Shoemaker-Levy strike Jupiter. It was well known the fragments of the comet would strike Jupiter, and we couldn't actually see the impact points from Earth. But the impacts would be just "off camera" and then they would rotate into view of Earth telescopes within a short time. And no one knew exactly what the results would be--perhaps completely unnoticeable or perhaps really spectacular.

So, we were out in our front driveway watching Jupiter through our telescope and saw with our own eyes the striking impact points rotating into view at the same time as scientists and giant telescopes the world over. Basically, seeing cosmic history being written right in front of our eyes.

- The Grand Canyon, but not just visiting it--which is impressive enough. Rather, riding the rapids & spending a couple of weeks on an expedition experiencing it from the inside. As captured in the best book I have read in quite some time, The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko. It's not just spectacular scenery, some of the best whitewater in the world, amazing hikes, an extremely remote and isolated area, colorful history, and so on--but also quite literally a "journey to the center of the Earth". You travel down, down, down through numerous layers of geology--altogether drilling down through about 2 billion years of the Earth's history laid out in a way that is really unparalleled anywhere else on Earth, as a far as I know.
posted by flug at 3:39 AM on August 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Natural: glow worms in New Zealand --- feels a bit like being a giant walking among galaxies. I saw them not in a cave but in a rainy forest.
Natural+celestial: looking at deep sky objects through decent magnification. The Orion nebula, e.g., can be seen through big binoculars, and in a reasonably dark sky, it's amazing to see what you thought was a star be revealed as a cloud.
Human-made: James Turrell's work in general: a skyspace at sunset or sunrise, possibly a ganzfeld (the one newly installed at MassMOCA gave me the fix I seek from Turrell).
Human-made+celestial: observing satellites or the ISS transiting the moon can be cool. Actually: just looking through the moon through binoculars blows my mind, pretty much every time.
posted by xueexueg at 5:12 AM on August 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Can confirm that bio-luminescence at nighttime is quite a thing. I experienced it when in college in Maryland. It's like swimming through the Star Wars light speed effect.

I also really want to visit one of the Florida springs where the water is so clear that it looks like boats are floating on top of it.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:48 AM on August 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Blue Grotto of Capri, Italy
It really is that blue and the experience is heightened by being in a tiny rowboat with the guide timing the entrance to the swell of the ocean and having to duck down in the boat to make it through.
posted by carrioncomfort at 7:08 AM on August 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you have not lived in a place that gets fireflies - seeing them on a summer night in the forest is magical. (If you do live near them, it's also often magical, but you get used to them.) When I spent my summers in Arkansas, at least once a year I had a sense of "omg there are tiny yellow stars that are just flying around and... nobody cares? Why are you people not watching this? There is sky-glitter flying through the trees!"
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:56 AM on August 23, 2017 [7 favorites]

Roman ruins during the off season - our favorites in Turkey were Hierapolis and Bergama, with no one around.

Not sure if/when she'll travel again, but I saw Lucy (the ancient hominid) several years ago. I didn't expect it to be as reverent as it was.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:56 AM on August 23, 2017

Dawn on top of any of the Mayan pyramids, seeing and hearing the jungle come alive around you. If you can make it to Tikal rather than, say, Chichen Itza, where there are marginally less people, all the better. Teotihuacan or Monte Alban fit the bill as well.
Skydiving over the Remarkables.
Nthing bioluminesence. Amazing to walk along a beach and leave glowing footsteps, then swim in light in a bath-warm ocean.
Anywhere where there is very little light pollution - my favourites are La Pampa in Argentina, remote islands in the South Pacific and the outback in Australia. One really does not viscerally grok how many stars there are until that moment. It's boggling.
posted by conifer at 12:12 PM on August 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seeing Saturn through a small telescope - the ring brings home that it is really a planet, and it's incredible to see it just hanging there.
posted by Lucy_32 at 1:38 PM on August 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've been to Carlsbad Caverns, but I missed seeing the bats fly.

It's supposed to be amazing.
posted by jgirl at 1:43 PM on August 23, 2017

Hike the Narrows in Zion. That sh*t changed my perspective on hiking and how powerful it could be.
posted by jasondigitized at 6:24 PM on August 23, 2017

Niagara Falls. Yeah, yeah. tourist trap city surrounding them, but when I went there, I was gobsmacked by how amazingly gorgeous the actual falls are.
posted by SisterHavana at 6:31 PM on August 23, 2017

Welllllll...I hesitate to recommend actively seeking one out, but there really is nothing like seeing a tornado in person. From a safe distance it is awesome and terrible (both in the biblical sense).
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:22 PM on August 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

In January/February, in the Skagit Valley of Washington state, there are amazing opportunities to see bald eagles and snow geese. I had one of those awe-filled moments watching a huge flock of snow geese take flight from a field.
posted by pril at 7:24 PM on August 23, 2017

The Grand Canyon... of Hawaii. Same with the Mauna Kea Observatories, a few islands over.

Burningman, early in the week before more tourists show up.

Sunset over the Pacific.
posted by talldean at 7:45 PM on August 23, 2017

one of my favorite memories is sitting on my cousins roof watching a storm approach across the plains*
also, riding horses in montana, the grass is in the wind flows like waves

and then,
- antelope canyon
- diving with whale sharks in Djibouti
- the atacama in bloom (any deserts, really)
- hanami
- see the milky way in the 4th region of chile
posted by speakeasy at 4:10 AM on August 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Back from my trip so I can add a bit more.

I've done a few of the things suggested in this thread so far, but having just returned from seeing my first total eclipse I can honestly say that nothing can compare to it. It was a completely new experience filled with anticipation, emotion, beauty, relief, wonder, and awe.

Zion, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Acadia, Antelope Canyon, Banff, Jasper... they are all wonderful places and you should seek them out. They are their own experiences though and will probably not affect you the way the eclipse did.

I stopped by Niagara Falls on my way home and it is pretty awe-inspiring. Worth seeing.

Climb a glaciated mountain. Guided trips up Mount Baker or Mount Rainier in Washington State require little training and only decent conditioning, and there's absolutely nothing like seeing the sun rise on a glacier.

This. Before the eclipse, summit day on Rainier was probably the single greatest thing I'd ever seen. You begin climbing at 2:00 AM from your high camp, a string of headlamps all in a line in the pitch dark, then you crest a ridge and see the first light of dawn, which gets brighter and brighter, eventually turning into an amazing sunrise as you approach the summit. This was also the most difficult thing I'd ever done though, so you want to be in shape for it.

Sunrise from Mt. Katahdin in Maine was pretty neat. Sunrise from any mountain is going to be neat.

LSD, as I said up thread, is probably the closest thing I can think of in that it's a completely unique experience that cannot be adequately explained or recreated. I realize that's not for everyone, and I was young and invincible when I experimented with it and would probably not do it now if given the chance, but it it sure was fun. It was similar to seeing the eclipse in that it also gave me that full spectrum of emotion. Don't do drugs, kids. Stay in school.

Standing in the middle of a frozen, snow-covered lake in the middle of the night when it's foggy. You can't tell up from down. Imagine being on the inside of a ping pong ball.

Making tracks on virgin snow in the middle of the woods in winter.

I've only seen the Northern Lights once, very dim from my light-polluted suburb, but they're supposed to be pretty high up on the list of amazing experiences. Get thee to Iceland.

My son was delivered via c-section after a two week delay and two days of induction, so I didn't experience the Adrenalin rush of child birth, but I'm told seeing a child born naturally is a pretty cool experience. The downside is you're then stuck with them for like 18 years though. Iceland is cheaper.

Start planning for 2024.
posted by bondcliff at 6:58 AM on August 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Auroras would be my top choice.

The mention of the swifts reminded me of the thousands of bats that fly out from under the Congress Street Bridge in Austin, Texas.
posted by tracer at 7:30 AM on August 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Not quite as spectacular, but still very cool: To see the International Space Station fly overhead in the evening or morning with your naked eyes. Just plug your location into this site and scroll through the dates. Best sightings have a brightness of -3 or -4 (lower is better) and pass across the whole sky.

The really bright Iridium flares (brightness of around -7) are also nice.
posted by ltl at 2:05 PM on August 24, 2017

+1 for the Galilean moons - even with a small binocular. it'll definitely blow you mind.

In the man-made category: climbing the Duga radar in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. 150 meters above the ground, eerily quiet with Pripyat and the sarcophagus in view - like little islands in an ocean of dead silent green. Even if you go with a group, because of the different climbing speeds, you'll be soon alone, hanging between earth and sky, totally alone in silence. For me it was even a bigger experience than my 1999 total solar eclipse.
posted by kmt at 1:54 PM on August 25, 2017

Another vote for whale-watching - specifically sperm whales, if you have the chance. There is something both humbling and awe-inspiring about making eye contact with an animal bigger than a bus.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:13 AM on August 26, 2017

« Older European soccer crazed son -- birthday idea(s)?   |   What are some great looking AND super comfortable... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.