'Avatar' Mountains
Gravity-defying wonders of the world

'Avatar Mountains,' Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

These stunning stone spires, rising from the forest in China's Hunan province, are said to have inspired the floating mountains of the movie 'Avatar.' There are more than 3,000 of these quartz-sandstone pillars in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, often swathed in mist, part of a spectacular landscape that has inspired generations of painters. These days, they are popularly known as the 'Avatar Mountains' and one, the 3,544-foot-high Southern Sky Pillar, was officially renamed as 'Avatar Hallelujah Mountain' in 2010, the year after the blockbuster movie was released.

The spires sit within the wider Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and attract millions of tourists each year who come to marvel at their otherworldly beauty. The park is dotted with numerous hiking trails and glass-bottomed skywalks, allowing visitors to enjoy panoramic views of this natural wonder.