Jumat, 09 April 2010

Amazing Places

Bryce Canyon National Park, located in a remote corner of southeastern Utah, is known for its geologic formations called “hoodoos.” Sediment from lakes and streams that existed 40 million years ago here eroded over time, creating these distinctive monoliths. Hues ranging from pink to red and orange are a result of mineral deposits in the sedimentary rock.

The abandoned Mirny Diamond Mine in Siberia is the second largest man-made hole in the world. A road spiraling down 1,700 feet once carried trucks into the shaft that once mined 2 million carats annually. Airspace above the mine is off-limits to helicopters after several accidents when they were apparently “sucked in” by downward air flow.


The large sandstone formation Kata
, like Uluru (more commonly known as Ayers Rock), rises from th
e surrounding Australian desert, dwarfing everything around it. Contained within a national park, it’s an important spiritual site for the aboriginal population. From dawn to dusk, the changing light creates a stunning range of red to brown shades on the large domed-rock formations.


Forget shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars to travel into space: Instead, make an intergalactic journey without ever leaving Earth. Travel to one of these locales for a glimpse of an extraordinary landscape that will make you feel like you’re on another planet.

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland consists of man-made pools that are filled from hot springs created by volcanic activity on the island. The mineral-rich water is believed to have curative powers. On cold winter days, the steam rising around these pools, surrounded by snow and ice, creates an eerie ambience.


On the Philippine island of Bohol, nearly 1,300 grass-covered, limestone mounds called the Chocolate Hills dot an area of approximately 20 square miles. The mounds range from 100 to 400 feet high. In the dry season, the hills look like giant chocolate chips. Legend says they were formed by a defecating giant buffalo given food poisoning by vengeful local farmers, but scientific evidence suggests that they were created either by limestone weathering or volcanic debris.

Racetrack Playa in California’s Death Valley National Park is known for its mysterious sliding rocks. This dry lake bed is littered by rocks with long trails embedded in the cracking mud behind them. No one has witnessed the rocks move, but popular theories to explain the movement include strong winds and receding sheets of ice; the effects of both are magnified during rain, when runoff from the surrounding mountains creates a broad, shallow lake that makes the clay surface

The white cliffs of Pamukkale, Turkey, appear more like a frozen waterfall than what they really are: hot springs. The steplike cliffs and shallow pools cascading over the hillside were created here by volcanic activity and are rich in calcium. Ancient Greeks believed the springs had medicinal properties bestowed by the gods and built the ancient city of Hierapolis on top of the hill.

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