Another piece of nature’s artwork found in Utah, the Arches National Park is known for its inspiring natural arches. Salt beds deposited 300 million years ago from the receding ocean helped form the more than 2000 arches in the park. As the salt shifted, the rock layered on top began to move creating domes and fins. As rain and ice found its way into crevices, it eroded the top Entrada and Navajo sandstone. Add wind to the mix and over the course of millions of years, the amazing arches formed.
Up to 300 meter (1000 foot) sandstone buttes and mesas make up the Monument Valley which is located on the border of Utah and Arizona. Probably the most famous example of the classic American West landscape the area has been the backdrop for numerous western movies, ranging from Stagecoach starring John Wayne to Back to the Future II. Technically it is not a valley at all, but a wide flat landscape interrupted by the crumbling rock formations. The buttes are all that is left from the sandstone layers that once covered the entire region and have vivid red tones from the iron oxide. www.touropia.com/natural-rock-formations/
Situated about 45 km north of the Farafra oasis in the vast Western Desert of Egypt, the White Desert is made of oddly shaped chalk formation. In clear contrast with the yellowish brown of the surrounding desert, the White Desert is stark white reminding of an Arctic landscape. The soft chalk material, at the mercy of the elements has been contoured into amazing shapes. A few of the shapes resemble marshmallows, camels, and mushrooms. The imagination goes wild in this very remote spot. www.touropia.com/natural-rock-formations/
I was looking at all those incredible hot air balloon shots in Cappadocia and I have to say that they look surreal. More like paintings than real photos. And what interesting rock formations these are!! Must be awesome to view them in a hot air balloon.
I was probably incorrect in answering the third question with the Pinnacles, Searles Lake, California, as these are tufa pinnacles without a cap. Also I guess one of the preferred names is Hoodoo instead of pinnacle, which would mean Bryce Canyon National Park would be an answer to question 3 since those formations are referred to as hoodoo.
In a rush today.
Great scenery for ballooning.
Thanks for the info about the tufa pinnacles. You're right they are different. Different shapes, and made out of calcium carbonate and not sedimentary rock. - Q. Gen.
I would not want to crash land a hot air balloon on one of these spires. There are hot air balloon rides over flat lands in USA.
Since I was born and raised in Trona I vote for those Pinnacles as opposed to many others that can be found.
I recognized Cappadocia right away, since going there is on my bucket list,so it was easy to find the answers to the other questions.
Check out the Drumheller Alberta Sites and the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology. We have wonderful badlands here in the Red Deer River Valley, north east of Calgary. Devil’s coulee is only about 25 mikes from Lethbridge, which is the site of Dinosaur eggs and excavations.
Hehe, the National Geographic link appeared on top when I went to the images, so I got rightaway the photo flip. It was an easy one for me because my hometown has a hot air balloon festival and on the orthwest, there is a valley with rock formations (not as spectacular as Cappadocia), so I just merged both phrases and the image appeared immediately.
Never been on one, my only chance was blown by the wind, but I'll do it once we pass these extremely hard times.
The National Hot Air Balloon Championships used to be held here in Iowa. What magnificent balloons! What an experience to watch them! We have never had an opportunity to ride in one, however. How was the landing of your hot air balloon? Smooth or rather bumpy? Thanks, Fearless Leader!
I have not tried Tineye. My search was by internet, Google for wind eroded rock, view images of the results, pick matching rock formations, find that it was Turkey, add Cappadocia and hot air balloon search, view images of results, select match. I searched Shutterstock images at some stage.
We have a hot air balloon festival in Hamilton and have them flying overhead, but no rocks!! The balloons give you great photo opportunities.
[Hot air ballooning in Turkey] would be awesome! Someday when I retire I will get to travel more...3 years and counting down!
A quick Google search gave me this information.
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3. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah Aultderg Burn, Fochabers, Scotland Yehliu, Taiwan Pontis, French Alps Wairarapa, New Zealand and many other locations worldwide. See below.
I really LOVED this quiz - what beautiful scenery I looked at while researching the third question, not just Cappadocia but the other locations as well.
When I first looked at the photo, I thought ....hmmm, I know Albuquerque, New Mexico has a hot air balloon festival every year (it's on our Bucket List) but the rocks are the wrong colour that area of the U.S. southwest. And I don't recall seeing those types of formation around Albuquerque.
So I did a google search using the keywords "hot air balloons unusual rock formations" and of course I got a lot of hits about Cappadocia. And a lot of images - including the National Geographic one (in reverse).
I then wondered about the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park, we were there years ago when our girls were young and were just blown away by that scenery. Sure enough, I discovered the variety of names for these rock formations. I really like the french names too!
I didn't include this but in one article I read it also talked about 'balancing rocks' and they seemed to imply the terms hoodoo and balancing rock was synonymous. As it turns out, we have our own balancing rock in our neck of the woods - in Tiverton, Long Island, Digby Co. If you look at this site you'll see us halfway down the list. It would never inspire a hot air balloon ride but it is a very nice hike or lovely to view from a whale watching expedition!
A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney, and earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos, which may range from 1.5–45 metres (4.9–147.6 ft), 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 that 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.
Hoodoos are commonly found in the High Plateaus region of the Colorado Plateau and in the Badlands regions of the Northern Great Plains (both in North America). While hoodoos are scattered throughout these areas, nowhere in the world are they as abundant as in the northern section of Bryce Canyon National Park, located in the U.S. state of Utah (see geology of the Bryce Canyon area).
Hoodoos are a tourist attraction in the Cappadocia region of Turkey, where houses have been carved from these formations. These rock formations were depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 50 new lira banknote of 2005–2009.
In French, they are called demoiselles coiffées ("ladies with hairdos") or cheminées de fées ("fairy chimneys") and a number of them are found in the Alpes- de-Haute-Provence; one of the best- known examples is the formation called Demoiselles Coiffées de Pontis.
Đavolja Varoš (Devil's Town) hoodoos in Serbia feature 202 exotic formations described as earth pyramids or "towers", as the locals refer to them. Since 1959, Đavolja Varoš has been protected by the state, and it is also a nominee in the New Seven Wonders of Nature campaign.
The hoodoo stones on the northern coast of Taiwan are unusual for their coastal setting. The stones formed as the seabed rose rapidly out of the ocean during the Miocene epoch. Efforts have been made to slow the erosion in the case of iconic specimens in Wanli.
Hoodoos in Drumheller, Alberta, are a distinctive feature that continues to attract thousands of visitors each year. These hoodoos in particular formed between 70 and 75 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period as clay and sand sediments from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation were deposited. These hoodoos are able to maintain a unique mushroom- like appearance as the underlying base erodes at a faster rate compared to the capstones, a rate of nearly one centimeter per year, faster than most geologic structures.
Hoodoos typically form in areas where a thick layer of a relatively soft rock, such as mudstone, poorly cemented sandstone or tuff (consolidated volcanic ash), is covered by a thin layer of hard rock, such as well-cemented sandstone, limestone or basalt. In glaciated mountainous valleys the soft eroded material may be glacial till with the protective capstones being large boulders in the till. Over time, cracks in the resistant layer allow the much softer rock beneath to be eroded and washed away. Hoodoos form where a small cap of the resistant layer remains, and protects a cone of the underlying softer layer from erosion. Further erosion of the soft layer causes the cap to be undercut, eventually falling off, and the remaining cone is then quickly eroded.
Typically, most hoodoos form from two weathering processes that continuously work together in eroding the edges of a rock formation. The primary weathering force at Bryce Canyon (as one example) is frost wedging. The hoodoos at Bryce Canyon experience over 200 freeze/thaw cycles each year. In the winter, melting snow, in the form of water, seeps into the cracks and then freezes at night. When water freezes it expands by almost 10%, pries open the cracks bit by bit, making them even wider, much like the way a pothole forms in a paved road.
In addition to frost wedging, rain also sculpts these hoodoos. In most places today, the rainwater is slightly acidic, which lets the weak carbonic acid slowly dissolve limestone grain by grain. It is this process that rounds the edges of hoodoos and gives them their lumpy and bulging profiles. Where internal mudstone and siltstone layers interrupt the limestone, you can expect the rock to be more resistant to the chemical weathering because of the comparative lack of limestone. Many of the more durable hoodoos are capped with a special kind of magnesium-rich limestone called dolomite.
Dolomite, being fortified by the mineral magnesium, dissolves at a much slower rate, and consequently protects the weaker limestone underneath it. Rain is also the chief source of erosion (the actual removal of the debris). In the summer, monsoon type rainstorms travel through the Bryce Canyon region bringing short duration high intensity rain.
To see beautiful photographs of hoodoos around the world, click here.
Other interesting rock formations from around the world
Googled "Hot Air Balloon Festival Rock Formations". Done.
Funny, last week's photo was about a man being in the wrong place and the wrong time doing a wrong thing, and this week's photo, according to NatGeo was about being at the right place and the right time, and having a little bit of luck.
Coming from a place full of volcanoes and rocky formations, Cappadocia has been officially added to my "most visit in lifetime list. And, I have to admit my brain is too dirty when I saw those rocks.