Traveling around the world is, well, a trip. You’re able to see places that you otherwise would only read about if you stayed home. Of course, you could always visit the usual towns, cities, etc, and that’s fine. But try visiting some of these truly weird and shocking places — you just might find the beauty underneath the strangeness, once you get past all the judgments in your head that the world “should” be “this” way or “that.” Check out these twenty weird and shocking places from across the globe.

Cat Island, aka Tashirojima, Japan.

Attention all cat lovers: this island is inhabited by only 100 people, and who knows how many glorious and adorable cats. This island came to be known as “Cat Island” because this island once produced silk from silkworms. Mice, believe it or not, prey on silkworms, and since the worms were necessary for the silk trade, so were the cats, in order to keep the silkworms alive. The local fishermen believed the cats were lucky, and still do, so the the cats have remained.

Roswell, New Mexico

Yes, this town is famous for the 1947 UFO crash landing, and of course, the fascination with the area has UFO aficionados everywhere wanting to take at least one “pilgrimage” to the town that has much of its industry built up around the crash. Even if you’re something of a “Dana Scully,” at least attempt to play “Mulder” for once and take in the beautiful weirdness.

Rennes-la-Chateau, France

Rennes-la-Chateau is a small French village on top of a hill that’s known for holding mysteries of all kinds: unsolved murders, deep secrets and rituals hidden in the roots of Christianity. Word has it that this was the inspiration for Dan Brown’s book “The Da Vinci Code.” Makes sense, actually.

Thames Town, China

If you’re in China, but you’re itching to get your inner Brit on, go to Thames Town, a simulated British city within in Songjiang, China. There’s traditional British architecture, cuisine and yes, even those classic red phone booths we all love. Now, if there were also a blue police box that’s bigger on the inside and a dapper gentleman with a sonic screwdriver, then any Anglophile Whovian who finds themselves in this lovely section of Songjiang wouldn’t ever want to leave.

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