Water, wind, and time are some of the earth’s tools for creating some of the world’s most fascinating wonders. Sometimes, the process does not go as planned thereby leading to the destruction of the land but other times, it works perfectly resulting in the creation of stunning structures that just looks hand-crafted. While there are lots of these creations around the world, here are some that can be found in the United States.
8 Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of the best places on earth to learn about the earth’s natural history and how many natural things are formed. The magnificent formations represent millions of years of erosion driven by the Colorado River. This body of water began carving the plateau millions of years ago gradually creating the canyon and revealing different layers of rocks as they are positioned on the earth’s crust. The Canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is characterized by lots of beautiful carved colored rocks and the impressive Colorado River running through a gorge.
7 Bryce Canyon, Utah
The unique rock formations at Bryce Canyon do not just appeal with their red and pink colors but also their surprising structures. Many of the rocks have humanoid pillars with wider bottoms and thin tops. The most striking feature of the rocks is the unique structures at the top and one cannot deny that some of the most precisely carved ones appear like a person’s head when viewed from afar. The rocks at Bryce Canyon are the result of millions of years of wear and tear driven by wind and rain although many who come here still can’t believe that this isn’t the work of man.
6 Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Mammoth cave is a natural cave formation located in Mammoth Cave National Park Kentucky. It is also known as the longest cave system in the world and besides the prestigious name, the cave is a stunning sight to behold and a complex thing to even think about. This complex cave labyrinth began forming millions of years ago by the gradual dissolution of limestone by water. This process eventually resulted in the creation of underground rivers and tunnels. Currently, 400 miles of passageways have been discovered within the cave and more are still being discovered.
5 Badlands, South Dakota
Badlands presents a landscape of unique stone formations that are just stunning to behold as the sun lights them. Not only are the structures impressive, but the colors of the stones are also beautiful features of the landscape. This unique geological wonder was the result of the gradual deposition of rocks and the gradual erosion of the rocks for a combined period of 80 million years. While the erosion of those rocks began just 500,000 years ago, the deposition took place 75 million years ago. This process eventually led to the unique formation of rocks that are now located in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Besides the impressive rocks, the surrounding grasses also combine to make the views here otherworldly.
4 Napali Coast, Hawaii
Although Hawaii is endowed with lots of natural beauty and unique natural creations, Napa Coast is arguably the most striking. This 16 miles stretch of land located on the island of Kauai is characterized by neatly carved emerald and brown colored cliffs towering up to 4000 feet above the mesmerizing Pacific Ocean. The best ways to explore this unique sight are by hiking the trails, taking a boat tour, or riding a helicopter for a bird’s eye view.
3 Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
Located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Horseshoe Bend is a stunning horseshoe-shaped sandstone formed by millions of years of erosion driven by the Colorado River. Besides the unique picturesqueness of Horseshoe Bend, one of its most stunning features is the body of water flowing around its bed and the rock’s positioning in the middle of the canyon. Visitors usually take the overlook hike to get a view of this unique canyon and the bright atmosphere of the desert makes it more worthwhile.
2 Monument Valley, Utah
There are lots of surprising rock formations in the state of Utah and Monument Valley is a place to find some of them. This desert region is characterized by a group of sandstone pillars (also called buttes) which were created as a result of the gradual wear and tear of the Colorado Plateau millions of years ago by water, wind, and ice. The sandstones form a structure that can be said to be the combination of a trapezium (at the bottom) and a rectangle (at the top) and each pillar stands at approximately 500 to 1000 feet above the valley floor.
1 Arches National Park, Utah
Just like its name signifies, Arches National Park is a place made up of thousands of stunning natural arch formations, many of which are too impressive to be the results of natural processes. There are more concentrations of sandstone arches in this park than there are anywhere else in the world. The sandstone arches and other formations in this landscape were formed as a result of millions of years of sandstone carvings by erosion. While it is surprising how the arches manage to remain standing, a particular arch known as the Landscape Arch is an even more surprising thing to think about. This arch is the longest stone arch in the park and the fifth-longest in the world With a span of 87 m and a width of 5.5 m. This massive stretch makes the top of the arch so thin that visitors have been stopped from going under for fear of a slab collapse. On a normal day, the sun shines bright on these arches displaying their beautiful red color. The opening of the arch sometimes creates opportunities for photographers to get creative with the sun and the surrounding landscape.