Millions of years of erosion have done much to shape the world we know today – and these beautiful rocks are proof!
This tree-like volcanic rock formation can be found in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve in southwest Bolivia. Fittingly, the other name for this isolated beauty is the ‘Stone Tree.’ Imagine that towering over you!
It might look like a whale’s tail or perhaps even a giant mushroom, but this is really just another cool chunk of rock. Standing at 3 metres in height, this rock shape has been formed over thousands of years thanks to sea erosion.
The Chocolate Hills lie in the Bohol Province of the Philippines and despite their name, are actually made of limestone. Ordinarily covered by grass, they dry up and turn brown during the dry season, giving rise to their chocolate character. The tallest of these is around 121 metres high – no easy feat to climb!
The Marble Caves can be found on Lake General Carrera in Patagonia, and can be explored via boat tour. This arrowhead-shaped rock gives way to a gorgeous cave underneath, which reflects the azure colour of the waters around it.
The Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area in San Juan County, New Mexico, is where you’ll find these remarkable rock formations called ‘Hoodoos.’ Hoodoos can range from 1 metre to over 39 metres in height and are carved by the long process of wind erosion. In this study area, you can also find gorgeous badlands and even dinosaur bones.
They look almost alien, but these spherical boulders on Koekohe Beach, on New Zealand’s Otago coast, have been around for about 60 million years. They also play a strong role in Maori myths, which claim the boulders are remains of calabashes, eel baskets and kumaras.
Man-Pupu-Nyer (meaning ‘little mountain of the Gods’) is the official name of these mammoth stone creations. These rock formations in the Komi Republic are each over 30 metres tall and are actually the remains of a long-ago mountain, which was withered away over millions of years by ice and winds.
One of the most beautiful rock formations you might ever see rests down in Arizona in the Coyote Buttes ravine. Sweeping in their magnificent sandstone dune-ness, it’s no surprise that these rocks took 190 million years to achieve their current look. If you want to visit this exquisite area, you’ll need to obtain a permit – and only 20 per day are issued.
Ever wanted to get lost in a world of stone? The Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve in western Madagascar is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In it, you’ll find this vast labyrinth of pointed Jurassic limestone towers. Formed by erosion by tropical rains, this forest is now home to a variety of lemurs, as well as bats and frogs.
Photo credits: RichieB_pics, Carlos Adampol Galindo, C. Hill, P199, jvieras, John Fowler, Jan Smith, undpeuropeandcis, thaths, Cookers, BrokenSphere.