What gives a place that magical feeling? You know, the kind of place that is so attractive yet makes you a bit nervous at the same time… Let me show you:
This is a photo of the Sahara Desert in Morocco. And it looks magical. We don’t know what lies behind the sand dunes. It’s a place we can explore, but from the safety of the guided camel tour. In other words, this place is almost dangerous. The light helps, too: places always look more mysterious under a dimmer light.
Natural environments tend to have this magical quality. They have plenty of dunes, mountains, caves, and forests that we can explore, never quite sure of what we’ll find. But magical places can be created by humans, too:
Where’s this map taking us? What lies in this mysterious territory? There’s something about this photo that makes us want to get out there and explore.
And what happens if you combine human and natural landscapes?
Taa-daa! Wouldn’t you agree that the Golden Gate Bridge looks more intriguing when it’s covered in fog?
Light, fog, and some dark corners can give places an “almost dangerous” feeling. We know we’re safe on our camels as we are guided through the desert, or in our house as we contemplate exploring new territories, or in San Francisco looking at the fog. But magical places tease us with the potential of danger, as we wonder what lurks in the dark corners.