The Most Strange Rock Formations
Tourist from all over the world travel to these amazing destinations to see the strange but beautiful rock formations nature has made.
17. Fairy Chimney
A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney or earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They generally form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations.
Hoodoos are found mainly in the desert in dry, hot areas. In common usage, the difference between hoodoos and pinnacles (or spires) is that hoodoos have a variable thickness often described as having a “totem pole-shaped body”. A spire, on the other hand, has a smoother profile or uniform thickness that tapers from the ground upward. An example of a single spire, as an earth pyramid, is found at Aultderg Burn, near Fochabers, Scotland.
Hoodoos range in size from the height of an average human to heights exceeding a 10-story building. Hoodoo shapes are affected by the erosional patterns of alternating hard and softer rock layers. Minerals deposited within different rock types cause hoodoos to have different colors throughout their height.
16. Al Naslaa Rock Formation
There are many natural occurrences that might puzzle a traveler. One of them is Al Naslaa Rock Formation, located in Tayma oasis, Saudi Arabia. Recent archaeological discoveries show that Tayma has been inhabited since the ancient times. Al Naslaa is one of the most photogenic petroglyphs in the area. The perfect slit between the two standing stones and the flat faces are completely natural. Note the small pedestals supporting the boulders.
15. Immortal Bridge
On the top of Tai Shan (Mount Tai) in China there is the so-called Immortal Bridge – a beautiful and remarkable arch formation. The arch is made up of single huge rolling stones, which once fell between the rocks and remained stuck between them. At first glance it is difficult to believe that a man has nothing to do with the creation of this amazing bridge. And it seems that the bridge can collapse at any time and fall into the abyss. In reality, the stones have been in the unchanging position for several million years.
The arch was formed during the ice age, according to rough estimates of scientists. Local residents connect many legends and folk beliefs with the Immortal Bridge. According to one of them, a man who dares to cross the bridge, will gain immortality. For many years, the arch is a cult place to which a large number of pilgrims come. They regard the Immortal Bridge as a symbol of rebirth and eternal life.
14. Marble Caves of Chile Chico
Carved into the Patagonian Andes, the Cuevas de Mármol are located on a peninsula of solid marble bordering Lake General Carrera, a remote glacial lake that spans the Chile-Argentina border.
Formed by 6,000-plus years of waves washing up against calcium carbonate, the smooth, swirling blues of the cavern walls are a reflection of the lake’s azure waters, which change in intensity and hue, depending on water levels and time of year.
Located far from any road, the caves are accessible only by boat. Thirty minute tours are operated by a local company, weather and water conditions permitting.
13. Árbol de Piedra
Árbol de Piedra (“stone tree”) is an isolated rock formation in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve of Sur Lípez Province, Bolivia. Much photographed, it projects out of the altiplano sand dunes of Siloli in the Potosí Department, about 18 kilometres (11 mi) north of Laguna Colorada. Known as the “Stone Tree,” it is shaped like a stunted tree about 7 m high. Its shape, particularly the thin stem, are due to strong winds carrying sand and eroding the soft sandstone
Kjeragbolten is a boulder located on the mountain Kjerag in Forsand municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. The rock itself is a 5-cubic-metre (180 cu ft) glacial deposit wedged in the mountain’s crevasse. It is a popular tourist destination and is accessible without any climbing equipment. However, it is suspended above a 984-metre (3,228 ft) deep abyss. It is also a popular site for BASE jumping. The boulder is located just southwest of the village of Lysebotn, just south of the Lysefjorden.
11. Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch is the longest of the many natural rock arches located in the Arches National Park in Utah, United States. The arch is among many in the area known as Devil’s Garden in the north area of the park. It was named by Frank Beckwith, leader of the Arches National Monument Scientific Expedition, who explored the area in the winter of 1933–1934, and can be reached by a walk of 0.8 mi (1.3 km) one-way along a graded gravel trail.
The Natural Arch and Bridge Society (NABS) now considers the Landscape Arch to be the fifth longest natural arch in the world, having measured the span in 2004 at 290.1 feet (88.4 m) ±0.8 feet (0.24 m), which is slightly longer than a measurement made by the Society in 2006 of Kolob Arch in Zion National Park The most recent recorded rockfall events occurred in the 1990s when one large slab fell (1991) and then two additional large rockfalls occurred (1995). Due to the rockfalls, the trail beneath the arch was closed.
10. Salt Piles at Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, is one of the most distinct natural landmarks in the world. The immense plains of salt are viewable from space and are a huge attraction for tourists and photographers. After rainfall, the plains turn into an enormous reflective mirror that creates a surreal landscape. The piles of salt ready for harvest only add to the uncanny imagery.
9. Giant’s Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is a huge oceanside area in Northern Ireland comprised of giant interlocking columns of basalt rock. Most of the columns are hexagonal in shape and perfectly fit together creating a surreal almost game-like environment. Scientifically speaking the columns were created by an ancient volcanic explosion, but it gains its name from the popular legend that the cliffs were built as a causeway by a giant in ancient times.
8. Balance Rock
In the Garden of Gods in Colorado Springs there are a plethora of beautiful red rock formations, but possibly the most iconic of these rocks is Balance Rock – a huge boulder that seems like it could fall over at any moment. It is destined to fall over eventually when erosion or another damage dislodges it from its gripping points. Go and see Balance Rock before it falls over and becomes just a normal rock.
7. Balancing Rock, Canada
There is another precarious rock, but this seems to be even more impossible. The Balancing Rock in Nova Scotia is believed to be standing for thousands of years. It’s about 30 feet tall and seems to be just standing straight up out of pure will.
6. Fly Geyser
This erupting rock is Fly Geyser, an accidental man-made geothermal geyser in Washoe County. The fountain was created in 1964 when people were exploring sources of geothermal energy and accidentally drilled into a well. The well was never capped properly and has now become a geyser that shoots water into the air, creating the ever growing rock formation around it. It looks like a weird alien structure because of thermophilic algae that thrive in the high temperatures Fly Geyser generates.
5. Split Apple Rock
Tokangawhā, aka Split Apple Rock, is a geological rock formation off the coast of South Island of New Zealand. It is a structure made of granite and looks almost like it was deliberately cut in half. This cleft was natural, though, with no help from any humans. What exactly could have cut this boulder in half is a mystery although theories include water creeping into the rock, freezing, and expanding to break the rock. It’s a popular spot for tourists to take the exact same photo every year.
4. Moeraki Boulders
The Moeraki Boulders are unusually large and spherical boulders that are spread along Koekohe Beach on the Otago coast of New Zealand. Local Maori legends explain the boulders as the remains of eel baskets from the large sailing canoe that brought Maori people to the island hundreds of years ago. These stones are usually hollow but sometimes they are filled with calcite and quartz, which makes it look very interesting when they are broken open or exposed.
3. Folding Rocks at Agia Pavlos
These interesting looking rocks are known commonly as the Folding Rocks. They are sedimentary limestone layers were once layered horizontally at the bottom of the sea, but tectonic plates pushed them together and forced them upwards.
Torghatten is a granite mountain on Torget island in Norway. As far as mountains go it looks pretty uncharacteristic and lumpy except for the giant gaping hole right in the middle of it. According to legend, the mountain hole was made by a troll who was chasing a beautiful girl. Knowing he could never catch the girl he shot an arrow at her, but the Troll King threw his hat to save her and that hat turned into the mountain. Sounds pretty legit to me.
1. Abandoned Russian Salt Mine
This abandoned Russian Salt Mine looks more like a scene from a trippy art house movie. The naturally occurring minerals in the abandoned mine create psychedelic patterns and structures which create unique swirls. While the naturally occurring art in these walls are beautiful, exploring the mines are not without danger. There are hazards of falling, landslides, and low visibility, but it might be worth facing to see this one of a kind place.
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