Places You Can’t Go… Because They Don’t Exist

Places You Can’t Go… Because They Don’t Exist

Yesterday I extolled the virtues of Pinterest as a travel planning tool. Today we’ll examine the flip side of that coin.

Every now and then a place will pop up on Pinterest that looks so amazing, so beautiful, so awe-inspiring, that you wonder why you haven’t heard of or seen it before. The answer is simple: you haven’t heard of it because it doesn’t exist, and what you’re looking at is probably a heavily photoshopped image.

For instance, take “The Forgotten Temple of Lysistrata”

forgotten temple of Lysistrata

This is a beautifully done blend of two photos.  One is of a beach cave in Portugal, and the other is of the Roman Pantheon.

Do you like castles?  This one is supposedly in Dublin, Ireland.


Again, there are two separate places photoshopped into this one fake place.  The rock is Koh Tapu in Thailand and the castle is in Lichtenstein.

Stunningly similar is this figure carved in the side of a rock, called the Ngyen khag taktsang monastery in Bhutan:

Ngyen khag taktsang monastery in Bhutan.jpg

And then there’s this one from Kjeragbolten Norway:

Kjeragbolten Norway

There is a rock wedged between two cliffs in Norway, but it is just a rock, not part of a building.

Fairy pools in Scotland sound rather magical, don’t they?  Especially when they are supposed to look like this:


Honestly, if there were such a thing as magenta colored trees, don’t you think you would have seen them in more than just this one picture? The picture, by the way, is of a river in New Zealand, not Scotland, and the leaves are actually green.

Then there is the star and moon island:


The crescent moon shaped island is real and in Hawaii. The star island is the invention of someone who knows their way around Photoshop.

And finally, my favorite, the underwater subway in Venice.


Oh my goodness, where do I start?  For starters, the name on the front of the train is Danish, not Italian.  And the tunnel/water is from an aquarium photo.

So, again, it pays to do your research. Don’t plan your trip around a must-see place that doesn’t actually exist in the real world.

The good news is that there are so many places that are every bit as exciting and exotic as these. Here are a few of my favorite real places:

Beachy Head in England:

White Cliffs at Beachy Head

The Swallow’s Nest Castle in Crimea:

Swallows Nest Castle

The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland:


The appropriately named Heart Lake at Olympia National Park in Washington State:


The Palm Islands of Dubai:


and the Salar de Uyuni salt flats of Bolivia:


So go out there and explore – there are plenty of natural and man-made wonders for you to enjoy without anyone having to fabricate them on their computer.

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