Pinterest is one of my favorite apps. I feel like it has a bit of a reputation for being mostly used by stay-at-home-moms looking for a new recipe or DIY project. But there’s so much more you can do on it!
I love using it to get inspiration and tips for my travels. I have a Board for just about every destination and I use them to pin all kinds of useful articles from other travel bloggers and magazines. That way, when I’m off on a new adventure I have all the advice I’ll need in one (perfect-looking) place!
Besides helping me a lot with travel planning, Pinterest is also a great place to let my wanderlust run wild. Every time I log in, I find a new place I want to add to my travel bucket list. My bank account hates Pinterest for that, but hellooooo that’s why I have an entire board with budget travel tips. Duh.
I pin so many incredible places every day hour (sorry I’m slightly obsessed), I’ve never questioned whether what I was seeing was real or not. What kind of cruel soul would create a magical place on Photoshop and then share it with the world as if it were real?
Let me tell you a little something about Photoshop. It is an evil, evil thing.
Okay, not really. There are some seriously skilled Photoshop geniuses out there and they definitely deserve all their credit.
But somewhere along the way, between a genius creating an image for fun on Photoshop and me pinning magical places on online, the information chain was broken and I’m stuck wanderlusting for places I’ll only ever see on Pinterest.
So, to avoid breaking more hearts, let’s take a look at all of these magical (yet fake) travel destinations that show up on Pinterest way too often as real places.
10 Dreamy Destinations That You Can Only Visit On Pinterest
Ngyen Khag Taktsang Monastery
Let’s begin with a personal favorite of mine. The Buddha carving on a sandstone pillar which is apparently also a temple.
I was really sad when I found out this one wasn’t real. I mean, how awesome would it be if actual humans had pretty much risked their lives to create a such a beautiful temple?
Well, humans are still awesome. This particular human is the one behind this amazing Photoshop job. The sandstone pillar exists (you can find it somewhere in the massive Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China’s Hunan Province), but don’t expect to see it with the intricate Buddha carving. That will forever remain on our Pinterest Boards.
Castle Island (Dublin, Ireland)
This one is also a fake travel destination. But the stupidest part of it all is that I lived in Dublin for one year and, while I was there, I never questioned the existence of this castle island.
But I know the truth now!! I have seen the light!
And the true story is this: The (evil) website Worth 1000 ran a Photoshop contest many years ago, and this beautiful island was the winner. It’s a combination of Liechtenstein castle in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany and Ko Khao Phing Kan, Thailand.
The good news, though, is that we can still visit the two different places that combined to make this fake castle island! (Yay – two more places for my travel bucket list…)
Collège de Valleyfield (Quebec, Canada)
Now this college does exist in Quebec and the building is just as beautiful. But that waterfall? Yeah, that only existed in someone’s Photoshop.
The Tree of Life (South Africa)
We humans have a (strange?) historic obsession with the idea of a Tree of Life. It’s been a part of mythology, ancient traditions and religious rituals for centuries. And now it’s real! I mean, just look at that photo! The Tree of Life – out in the wild!
Actually, about that…
I mean, if you consider the crazy lines and crowds at Disneyworld (Orlando, Fla) “the wild”, then the Tree of Life is definitely out in the wild. It’s also definitely a fake tree.
Fairy Pools (Isle of Skye, Scotland)
Yeah, Sara Herrinton we’ve got bad news for you… No one can take you to the Fairy Pools in the Isle of Skye. They just don’t exist.
Someone can, however, take you to Shotover River in New Zealand which is the closest thing to what you’re looking for.
Just don’t expect to see purple plants. Those are definitely a Pinterest lie.
The Crescent Moon Tower (Dubai)
This one isn’t so much a fake place, but it’s also certainly not real. The Crescent Moon Tower is one of Dubai’s most recent architecture projects – and it’s definitely an impressive one. Keyword here being project though. We will definitely be seeing the gorgeous Crescent Moon Tower ripping through Dubai’s skyline at some point in the future. But just don’t go buy a ticket to Dubai and expect to see it right now.
Star & Moon Islands
The moon-shaped islet is definitely real. It’s a partially submerged volcanic crater of Molokini in Hawaii. You can dock your boat on the islet’s shores to do some scuba diving, but if you actually want to visit the islet you’ll have to first get permission from the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the US Coast Guard.
The star-shaped island, on the other hand, was only meant to live in our Pinterest boards.
The Pink Sand of Bermuda
Wait, don’t despair just yet! These beaches in Bermuda aren’t totally fake! They do have an interesting pink-ish hue – but that hue is not the hot pink pictured above.
Now, the reason why the sand has a pink hue in Bermuda is very scientific. I had to do some real research to figure this one out, you guys, so please appreciate the following conclusion:
In this magical world, there are these very tiny, single-cell marine organisms known as “foraminifera” (we’re just going to call them forams). Forams have shells which are called “tests”. Many forams also have symbiotic algae within their shells similar to zooxanthellae (zoo what?), which is the symbiotic algae that lives within coral skeletons. (“Symbiotic” is a very scientific term that we really don’t need to get into right now.) The smart people believe that it’s these symbiotic algae that give the red forams their distinct color.
In beautiful Bermuda, there is one particular type of red foram that grows near the coral ledges. When the forams die, their tests sink to the bottom of the ocean and are then swept ashore by the tides. Here, they mix with the sand giving it a pink hue.
You got all that? Basically, the sand is pink-ish, but never as pink as what is usually pictured on Pinterest. You can check out the Bermuda Tourism official website for more photos and (even more) information.
The Underwater Waterfalls (Maritius)
It’s not just Photoshop that plays with our hearts. Mother Nature can get pretty trippy too, and that’s exactly what’s going on in this photo. Mother Nature has fooled us with one of the most beautiful optical illusions!
Mauritius is unique on so many levels: it’s on its own timezone, it’s home to some of the rarest plant and animal species, and it’s where you’ll find one of the trippiest optical illusions.
You see, the incredible mix of ocean blues and coral reefs that surround the island make it seem as though the water drops down dramatically into a waterfall at one point.
But that’s all it is guys: an illusion. It’s still a pretty cool sight though!
The Frozen Canals of Venice
I saw this Pin this week and I immediately started wondering: if the canals freeze in Venice how the heck are people supposed get around in the winter?! Does everyone start ice skating to the grocery shop or taking their snow mobile to work? I mean, that’s certainly not a bad lifestyle to have, but it becomes a little impractical after a while (not to mention possibly ridiculous).
So, sadly, this photo is definitely a fake. After doing some research, I found out the canals in Venice rarely ever freeze and never to this point. When they do though, (it only ever happened in the 1920s and then in 2012), there are special boats that help break the ice.
No ice skating in the Venetian canals for me.
DEAR PHOTOSHOP USERS,
STOP PLAYING WITH OUR WANDERLUSTING HEARTS.
THE REST OF THE WORLD
*** Please be a kind soul. If you know of a popular Pin going around that you know is of a fake place, please let us all know in the comments! I will love you forever. ***