Top Ten Amazing Geological Oddities

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The following are some of the most awe-inspiring and amazing geological oddities found around the world. These fantastic spots, most of which are purely natural phenomena, are all quite certainly worth a visit

 

1. The Moving Rocks of Racetrack Playa, Death Valley, California

Death Valley, California, is a place where rocks can be found to move on their own. Surrounding the racetrack are pebbles and boulders strewn all about. Strangely, some of the rocks really do move, though others stay completely still. While some people are of the view that the movement of the rocks is caused by magnetic forces, others feel that the phenomenon is caused by prevailing winds.

 

2. The Richat Structure or “Eye of the Sahara

This impressive sight can be seen in Mauritania, at the southwestern tip of the Sahara desert. This land formation is so large, with a diameter of 30 miles, that it can in fact be seen from outer space. Originally, this structure was believed to have been formed by a meteorite impact. However, geologists now feel that it is the result of uplifting and erosion.

 

3. The Driest Place on Earth, the Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert receives less than 1mm of rain per year and is considered to be the driest place on the planet. The desert is the product of the Andes rain-shadow. The trade winds which move east along South America begin to lose all moisture when they hit the steep slopes of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is located against the western slopes of the mountain range and therefore receives very little precipitation.

 

4. The Naica Mine, Cave of Crystals, Mexico

These caves, found in a mine in Chihuahua Mexico, have some of the biggest crystals ever discovered and are a spectacular sight. Made of Gypsum, the crystals were allowed to grow unimpeded and hence are worth a mention among the world’s top-most geological oddities.

 

5. The Curtain of Fire, Hawaii

During the initial stage of the Puu Oo eruption in January, 1983, these amazing lava fountains erupted first. They later formed a wall of magma 100-160 feet high along the Eastern Rift of Mount Kilauea following a fissure.

 

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