15 Surprising Discoveries Tourists Made in Different Parts of the World

By: Stephen Thompson | Published: Jul 28, 2023

When traveling, you have to expect the unexpected. You’re there to see new things, meet new people, and have new experiences. Some travelers have made discoveries in different parts of the world that are actually pretty genius.

From free sparkling water dispenser stations to UPS bikes, these are some of the most surprising discoveries tourists have made all over the world.

The Albino Turtle of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, a haven for rare creatures, continues to amaze and inspire visitors with its unique and awe-inspiring natural wonders. During a peaceful vacation in Sri Lanka, a traveler was treated to a breathtaking sight: an albino turtle delicately emerging from the crystal-clear waters.


Source: mouthfulloflemons/ Reddit

There is no official answer to how many albino sea turtles exist, although it is estimated that there are fewer than 100 albino sea turtles on Earth.


The Serene Beauty of Machu Picchu

One ambitious visitor set out on an unusual journey, rising at 3:30 a.m. to beat the crowds and reach Machu Picchu. He completed a demanding four-day trip over the Salkantay Pass. 


Source: feastandexistReport/ Reddit

After weathering the terrain and appreciating the isolation of the trail, the target was eventually achieved. With tired legs and a heart filled with anticipation, they stood before the ancient citadel, capturing a picture to commemorate the incredible feat.

Northern Lights Wake-Up Call at a Hotel

The Northern Lights, commonly known as the Aurora Borealis, is a celestial phenomenon that dances across the night sky. A visitor visiting Iceland discovered an unexpected treat at their hotel: an odd function on the room phone. 


Source: KristjanHrannarReport/ Reddit

This unusual button served a singular purpose: it would awaken guests if the awe-inspiring Northern Lights appeared in the night sky. Witnessing this is a memorable event that leaves an indelible imprint on all fortunate to see it.

Outward-Facing Train Seats in Japan

Train seats in Japan are built to face outward, allowing passengers to take in the scenery as they move. This one-of-a-kind arrangement gives passengers a front-row ticket to the stunning landscapes, attractive towns, and vibrant metropolis that unfold beyond the train windows. 


Source: Reddit

It’s a simple yet clever innovation that improves the travel experience by allowing passengers to take in the beauty of Japan’s scenery while remaining comfortably seated on their journey.

Shopping Baskets in Bangkok's Department Store

In a department store in Bangkok, visitors encountered a thoughtful approach to shopping convenience. Two distinct sets of shopping baskets were provided to meet varying preferences. One set was created for persons in need, including a friendly emblem to signify their readiness to aid. 

Source: saksithReport/ Reddit

The other set of baskets was for people who preferred to shop alone, allowing them to wander the store without interruption. This ensured that each shopper’s needs were satisfied, resulting in a more comfortable and personalized shopping experience for everyone.


Wuppertal's Suspension Railway (Monorail), Germany

An unusual transportation system stands out in Wuppertal, Germany: the Suspension Railway, popularly known as the monorail. This incredible engineering accomplishment transports passengers above the city streets, gliding elegantly along a single rail hanging in the air. 

Source: pangea/ Reddit

The Suspension Railway, which provides panoramic views of the surroundings, perfectly fits into Wuppertal’s urban landscape and also gives a convenient and memorable form of transit.


Women-Only Cars in Japan's Subways

A sensible approach has been established in Japan’s subway networks to prioritize the safety and comfort of female passengers: a designated women-only car. These dedicated subway trains offer a safe environment for women to ride, providing protection throughout their everyday trips. 

Source: DEEP_SEA_MAXReport/ Reddit

This initiative intends to address overcrowding and potential incidents, ensuring that all passengers, particularly women, enjoy pleasant and stress-free travel.


Thank-You Buttons for Bus Drivers in Finland

In Finland, a heartwarming practice awaits passengers aboard buses—a simple yet meaningful way to appreciate the efforts of bus drivers. Many buses have specific buttons for passengers to express appreciation to the driver. 

Source: Reddit

A cheery message, such as “Kiitos kuskille” (Thank you, driver), is displayed with the touch of a button, recognizing the driver’s assistance. It’s an excellent example of building a culture of appreciation and respect within Finland’s public transportation system.


Trivia Signs on Australia's Long Roads

On some of Australia’s lengthy and seemingly dull roads, a clever tactic is employed to combat driver fatigue—trivia signs. These signs provide unique and entertaining trivia questions to keep drivers aware and entertained while driving. 

Source: Reddit

From interesting facts to brainteasers, these signs add a bit of fun to the ride, ensuring drivers remain focused and interested while traveling Australia’s huge highways.


A Desert Jewel: Huacachina, Peru's Oasis

Nestled amidst the arid Peruvian desert lies a breathtaking gem—Huacachina, a desert oasis like no other. Huacachina, with its peaceful waters, provides a tranquil haven in the midst of the desert terrain. 

Source: Getty Images

Visitors can participate in exhilarating activities such as sandboarding or simply relax and admire the beauty of this hidden gem. Huacachina is an enthralling place that highlights the contrasting wonders of Peruvian natural environments.


UPS's Bicycle Trucks in Italy

In the bustling streets of Rome, Italy, UPS has found an innovative solution to deliver packages efficiently using “bicycle trucks.” These one-of-a-kind vehicles are specially engineered to navigate the city’s small and winding streets, where standard delivery trucks may struggle. 

Source: hayaimonogachi/ Reddit

With the ability to enter even the most confined locations, these bicycle trucks ensure quick and convenient delivery to companies and residents in Rome’s bustling urban environment.


Italy's Free Water: Sparkling, Chilled, or Regular

In the small towns of Italy, a pleasant surprise awaits visitors—free water. What makes it even better is the variety offered. 

Source: aex_n53/ Reddit

What makes it even more unique is the array of options offered. Whether you want sparkling water with gas, cold water, or normal still water, these options are readily available to quench your thirst.


Preventing Icy Roads in Japan

A network of sprinklers is used to avoid road icing in Japan’s ski resorts. These sprinklers border the roadways near the resorts and spray a spray of saltwater, thereby preventing the road surface from freezing over. 

Source: TheWolvis/ Reddit

This creative strategy contributes to better driving conditions, allowing visitors to negotiate the roads with fewer accidents.


The Bone Church of the Czech Republic

The Bone Church is a fascinating location in the Czech Republic. This cathedral in a tiny hamlet is decorated with human bones and skulls, creating an eerie yet interesting ambiance. 

Source: LightRifter/ Reddit

The Bone Church, also known as the Sedlec Ossuary, features elaborate arrangements of bones that make mesmerizing patterns. A visit to the Bone Church is an extraordinary experience that invokes a range of emotions and leaves a lasting memory.


A Unique Dining Experience

In New Zealand, McDonald’s boasts a unique dining experience: a decommissioned jet. Customers may have their meals aboard an old airplane at this McDonald’s location, adding a touch of originality to their fast-food experience. 

Source: timfox1/ Reddit

The jet’s interior has been renovated into a nice dining space, giving visitors a one-of-a-kind environment. The transformed interior creates a unique and memorable atmosphere.