Views of Mars, exuding an unearthly stench of craters, colossal sculptural groups of limestone and sand dunes in the heart of the Arctic - what miracles are not created by nature with goals incomprehensible to us! The only thing that remains for a person is to observe and admire.
Rock formation "Wave"
Located at the junction of the Arizona mountains and the sands of Utah, at an altitude of 1700 meters above sea level, at the bottom of a deep canyon, this phenomenon is a conglomerate of four rocks with a common base. Thousands of years of rain and wind, these rocks were polished beyond recognition, after which the canyon turned into a charming landscape reminiscent of the mountains of Mars.
We owe its appearance to the tectonic and geological processes that took place on earth more than 190 million years ago in the deserts of Lavrazia.
What is interesting: until 1993, these places were unknown to tourists. "Discovery" for the general public occurred in 1997 with the release of the German educational film "Fascinated by Nature". A couple more years - and in this place the step was impossible to step, so as not to stumble upon a curious whining with a camera at the ready. The Americans soon realized that there would be no pebble left of the natural miracle, and imposed restrictions on visiting this artifact.
In the north-eastern part of Iceland, twenty kilometers east of Lake Mivatn, which appeared as a result of volcanic activity in the middle of the stone desert, there is an inconspicuous crater Namafjöll.
From the side, reminiscent of the resin lakes in Dante's Hell, Namafjöll is a cavity surrounded by swirling steam cracks extending to a depth of one and a half kilometers. The observer has the feeling that the desert is split, and all the geological wealth of the Earth appeared before the eyes of the curious at once.
The only thing that can scare a researcher or traveler away from this place is the knocking smell of sulfur. Due to the high concentration of this element in the fumes, there is a feeling that somewhere nearby there is a warehouse of rotten eggs or a cattle burial ground. The same reason prevents the appearance of plants around the crater.
Peak-shaped columns of limestone with a height of 100 to 350 centimeters are scattered across the Pinnacles Desert in the middle of the Nambunga National Park in South-Western Australia. Those who dare to meet the sunset in this place, there is a feeling of presence in the twilight enchanted forest.
These megaliths of natural origin appeared in the course of erosion lasting hundreds of thousands of years: the wind blew out excess from the soft and loose rock, forming a bizarre sculpture shape reminiscent of the cutter in the hands of a titanic sculptor.
Another elven forest of rocky formations is located in the northern part of New Mexico, in the Indian lands. This is a heap of rocks, colossal slabs, pyramidal formations of stone, cones and "mushrooms" of basalt. The Indians called it frozen souls,and the Spanish and English colonists of the XVIII century - the chimneys of the fairies.
Their appearance in the arid desert of New Mexico is associated with the end of the Cretaceous period over 75 million years ago. In the sedimentary rocks of this period, thousands of perfectly preserved samples of fossilized animals and plants remained in the form of "canned food".
Great Kobuk Sand Dunes
A one-of-a-kind piece of desert in the middle of a forest in the Arctic is located in kobuka Valley National Park in northwestern Alaska, far from the coast. There are dunes - moreover, with an area of more than seven thousand "squares". In some places, the sands rise above the ground by twenty to thirty meters, being a monument of the last Quaternary ice age, which radically changed the face of the planet thousands of years ago.
These are the largest dunes in the Arctic latitudes north of the Arctic Circle. The sands are squeezed in a circle in the arms of the coniferous forests that make up the national park. Tourists cannot get here on their own - such an opportunity is provided only if they collaborate with specialists of the national parks service of the United States of America.