Wednesday, 31 January 2018

The Scared Devils Tower

Devils Tower National Monument, a unique and striking geologic wonder steeped, is a modern day national park and climbers' challenge, one of the most remarkable natural creations. Devils Tower is a laccolithic butte composed of igneous rock in the Bear Lodge Mountains near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming. The Devils Tower is also called Mato Tipila, which means “Bear Lodge”. The scared devils tower is an astonishing geologic feature that protrudes out of the prairie surrounding the Black Hills. Numerous ideas have evolved since the official discovery of Devils Tower. Geologists came to the conclusion that the Tower was indeed formed by an igneous intrusion. Other ideas have suggested that Devils Tower is a volcanic plug or that it is the neck of an extinct volcano. Though there is no evidence of volcanic activity - volcanic ash, lava flows, or volcanic debris - anywhere in the surrounding countryside.
Devils Tower is 386 meter above the surrounding terrain and the summit is 1,558 meter above sea level. The 1.25-mile Tower Trail encircles the base. Geologists have faith in that the tower is the eroded remains of a large mass of igneous rock poking through a layer of overlying sedimentary rock beds. Devils Tower is considered sacred by Northern Plains Indians and indigenous people. Hundreds of parallel cracks make it one of the finest crack climbing areas in North America. Devils Tower is US first national monument, as most of peoples have gazed at the Tower and wondered, "How did this amazing formation form?" This self-guided hike offers close-up views of the forest and wildlife, not to mention spectacular views of the Tower itself.
During rain and snow continue to erode the sedimentary rocks surrounding the Tower's base, and exposed more. Although Devils Tower has been eroded over the ages, and portions, or even entire columns, of rock are continually breaking off and falling. But at the same time, the Tower itself is gradually being eroded. Rocks are continually breaking off and falling from the steep walls. Rarely do entire columns fall, but on remote occasions, they do. Piles of rubble, broken columns, boulders, small rocks, and stones, lie at the base of the Tower, indicating that it was, at some time in the past, larger than it is today.
Moreover the piles of scary devils towers are broken columns, boulders, small rocks, and stones lie at the base of the tower, indicating that it was once wider than it is today. The Ladder at Devils Tower was first constructed and used in 1893 by William Rogers and Willard Ripley to publicly ascend Devil's Tower. Devils Tower entices traveler to learn more, explore and define place in the natural and cultural world.


















Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Wave Rock, Australia


Wave Rock is a strange natural rock formation located east of the small town of Hyden in Western Australia. Wave Rock name derives from the fact that it is shaped like a tall breaking ocean wave, composed of granite and the total outcrop covers several hectares. The wave rock is about 15 meters high and about 110 meters long. Wave Rock is a remarkable example of what geomorphologists call a "flared slope". A flared slope is a concave-upward or -inward bedrock surface that is naturally found around the base of inselbergs, bornhardts, and granitic boulders and also on their higher slopes. Wave Rock is 27 million years old and made up of grey and red granite strips, is quite a formation aboriginal rock paintings can also be seen at nearby Bates Cave.

The shape of the rock is not caused by a wave phenomenon, rather its rounded wave-like shape was formed by subsurface chemical weathering followed by removal of the soft weathered granite by fluvial erosion, and therefore the weathering occurred below ground level before it was exposed. The end result is an undercut base, leaving a round overhang. Further, in the spring season, water running down the rock during wetter months dissolves minerals adding to the coloring of the wave. Moreover the other aspect of Wave Rock not often shown on photographs is the retaining wall about halfway up the rock. This follows the contours and lets rainwater to be collected in a storage dam. It was constructed in 1951 by the Public Works Department, and such walls are common on many similar rocks in the Wheat-belt region of Western Australia. You will find interpretive signage around the rock; enlighten you on the history of the rock and surrounding areas. In the spring, one can find many orchids and other flowers growing around the base in the Sheoak trees.







Friday, 26 January 2018

The Floating Golf Course of Idaho

The incredible world’s only floating golf green that can only be reached by BOAT at Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho.  Every year, more than 30,000 balls are retrieved from the water at the bizarre course in Idaho. Golfers have to strike the perfect shot at the 14th hole because it's on a man-made green on the water.
But the unusual hole proves too much of a challenge for many taking on the course. The golf course consist of 200 acre property opened the world renowned course back in 1991 and since then it has been voted in the top 100 greatest courses in the world. The famous 14th hole is one of the most unique and recognizable golf holes in the world' according to the resort. This majestic floating, movable golf green should be on every golfer's bucket list. Amazingly land on the island, and you're a hero, otherwise, your ball will be one of thousands fished out of the water by divers every year. Whichever way, it's a one-of-a-kind golf hole and a golf experience like no other.
Over 22,000 tonne Island is able to move along thanks to an intricate underwater cable system to varied distances from the tee. Each day, the par three distance changes to play anywhere from 90 yards all the way up to 220 yards from the championship tees. Moreover, the standard tee will typically play from 140 to 170 yards. The 18-hole championship layout is lined with red geraniums and other colorful plants and is annually ranked among the well-manicured golf courses in the world.






Monday, 22 January 2018

Ausangate Mountain, Peru


Ausangate or Auzangate is a stunning mountain of the Vilcanota mountain range in the Andes of Peru. Ausangate has an elevation of 6,384 meters, situated around 100 kilometers southeast of Cusco in the Cusco Region, Ocongate District. The mountain has great significance in Incan mythology, every year the Quyllur Rit'i festival, which entices thousands of Quechua pilgrims is celebrating festival which took one week before the Corpus Christi feast. This area is inhabited by llama and alpaca herding communities, and constitutes one of the few remaining pastoralist societies in the world.

Moreover, high mountain trails are used by these herders to trade with agricultural communities at lower elevations. Currently, one of these trails, "the road of the Apu Ausangate", is one of the most famous treks in Peru. The area has four major geological features, the Andean uplift formed by Granits, the hanging glaciers and glacial erosional valleys, the Permian formation with its singular colors: red, ochre, and turquoise and the Cretaceous, limestone forests.


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Oymyakon: The World’s Coldest Village


The world's coldest village “Oymyakon” Siberian outpost reaches near-record cold temperatures as thermometer breaks after recording minus 62C. This is the coldest village on earth where the average temperature in January is -50C and inhabitant's eye lashes freeze solid mere moments after stepping outside. The remote Siberian village is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world.  

It was so icy in the Russian village that a new electronic thermometer conked out after recording a bone-cracking minus 62C.  The official weather station at the 'pole of cold' registered minus 59C, but locals said their readings were as low as minus 67C - less than 1C off the lowest accepted temperature for a permanent settlement anywhere in the world. And that record breaking recording was taken in the town back in 1933. One villager in Oymyakon recorded a temperature of minus 67C, while others agreed that the official reading of minus 59C did not tell the full story. In 1933, a temperature of minus 67.7C was recorded in Oymyakon, accepted as the lowest ever in the northern hemisphere. Lower temperatures are recorded in Antarctica, but here there are no permanently inhabited settlements.

The digital thermometer was installed last year to help Oymyakon market itself to tourists, but it gave up the ghost at minus 62C. It broke because it was too cold. The village is home to around 500 hardy people and in the 1920s and 1930s was a stopover for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from the thermal spring. This is how the town got its name which translates as 'the water that doesn't freeze'.  The Soviet government later made the site a permanent settlement during a drive to force its nomadic population into putting down roots.

The people daily problems are that come with living in Oymyakon include pen ink freezing, glasses freezing to people's faces and batteries losing power. Locals are said to leave their cars running all day for fear of not being able to restart them. Rock solid earth makes burying the dead a difficult task. The earth must first have thawed adequately in order to dig, so a bonfire is lit for a few hours. Hot coals are then pushed to the side and a hole just a few inches deep is dug. The process is repeated for a number of days until the hole is deep enough to bury the coffin. However, in summer the town can get up to 21 hours of light and temperatures can rise to an average of 73 degrees Fahrenheit in July.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Incredible Rainbow Mountains of Peru


One of the most wonderful geologic features in the world is the Ausangate Mountain of the Peruvian Andes. The mountain is striped with colors ranging from turquoise to lavender to maroon and gold. However, this "painted mountain" is notoriously difficult to find and get to, requiring several days of hiking to reach its peak deep within the Andes by way of Cusco. The mountain sits at an elevation of 6,384 meters and is located approximately 100 km southeast of the major city Cusco. The local area is rich in geology, from uplifted granitic cliffs to glaciers which have eroded large valleys and the cretaceous limestone "forest" nearby. Rainbow Mountain Peru turned out not to be the beautiful natural wonder that you see on the tourism posters in Cusco.

It was quite the opposite. But we’ve made it back in one piece to now provide a warning to other travelers considering a Rainbow Mountain day tour. Rainbow Mountain is a colorful mountainside in the Andes of Peru. In short, the colors you see were formed by sedimentary mineral layers in the mountain that have been exposed by erosion. The Rainbow Mountain trailhead is located a 3-hour drive from Cusco, where day trips have recently grown quite popular. Rainbow Mountain turned out a true natural wonder, also known as Vinicunca, has become a major touristic attraction. The painted Ausangate Mountain is also considered to be holy and believed to be the deity of Cusco by local Peruvians. It is a site of daily worship and offerings by local citizens. 

Every year thousands of Quechua pilgrims visit the Ausangate Mountain for the Star Snow festival which takes place a week before the Corpus Christi feast. The Andes are an incredibly complex mountain chain that extends along the western edge of the South American continent. The subduction of the Nazca plate underneath the South American plate initiated mountain building and uplift of the mountain range. This produced significant volcanism and the introduction of rare and varied mineralogy to the Andes Mountains. The reason we see the rainbow coloration in the stratigraphic layers of the Ausangate Mountain is mainly due to weathering and mineralogy. Red coloration of sedimentary layers often indicates iron oxide rust as a trace mineral. Alike to how a nail will rust and turn red when oxidized, sediments that are iron rich will change when exposed to oxygen and water. This, in combination with uplift and tectonically driven crustal shortening has tilted the sedimentary layers on their side exposing stripped stratigraphic intervals.


The different coloration is due to diverse environmental conditions and mineralogy when the sediment was originally deposited and subsequently diagenetically altered. Moreover, introduction of goethite or oxidized limonite will introduce a brownish coloration to sandstones. Thus, the bright yellow coloration could be due to iron sulphide as trace minerals within the pore cement. Further, chlorite will often color sediments varying shades of green dependent on diagenetic history and concentration. What was simply a calm mountain in the Andes is now inundated with hundreds of tourists who all ascend in droves from Cusco to get their Instagram able shot of the colorful mountain. Though Rainbow Mountain may look good-looking in the photos, we recommend NOT pursuing this hike if it’s been raining and/or until trail improvements are made. It’s not just a strenuous trek. It can be downright dangerous, as evidence by the numerous people witnessed hobbling back to their tourist shuttle.

Not only that, but the striking and delicate alpine environment is getting entirely demolished by the hordes of eager hikers who make the journey to Rainbow Mountain. Rainbow Mountain is a day-long stagger at over 14,000 feet, tracing a dirt path between looming peaks of green and startling red rock. It's a striking route, passing local villages built from stone and glittering mountain streams. But the altitude is punishing sufficient to turn even the sprightliest young athlete into a panting mess.








Larabanga Mosque & Mystic Stone


Larabanga is a small town in Western Gonja in Northern Region, 5 miles from Mole National Park. It is a predominantly Muslim town and became famous because of the adobe Sahelian mosque which was built in the style of buildings in the former Western Sudanese Empires. It was at the height of the trans-Saharan trade. It is reputed to be Ghana's oldest Islamic mosque. This adobe Sahelian mosque is said to date from 1421 has been included on the 2002 World Monuments Watch. The Sahelian mosque, built with mud and reeds, has two tall towers in pyramidal shape, one for the “Mehrab” direction towards Makkah forming the facade on the east and the other as a minaret in the northeast corner. These are buttressed by twelve bulbous shaped structures, which are fitted with timber elements.

More interesting during the British times, there was a road that was laid near the Larabanga Mosque; a stone was removed during the construction to make way for the road. The next day, the stone was amazingly found again on the same place it was displaced from. The mystic stone was again removed from the way and the same thing happened on the next day. Later, the officials decided to build the road around the stone and it became the mystic stone. The mosque is measures about 8 metres by 8 metres and architectural style is also known as "flat-footed adobe architecture".

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has contributed substantially to its restoration, and lists it as one of the 100 Most Endangered Sites. Thus, the repair works have revived the knowledge of mud-plaster maintenance. It is believed to contain an ancient copy of the Quran, brought by an Arabian cleric, who accompanied the people on their migration to Larabanga. You can enjoy mosque and feel cultural atmosphere. The Mosque is built of clay in Sudanese style architecture has supporting wooden beams, jutting out of the walls. This site is located 6km away from Mole National Prak and 30km away from Damango, there are clear signposts from Mole. The local peoples have also been supported in a handicraft and tourism project to generate moneys not only for meeting the maintenance expenses of the mosque but also improve the economic conditions of the people.






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