Friday, September 17

The places on Earth that seem taken from another planet | Digital Trends Spanish

The images of outer space that arrive thanks to the work of gigantic telescopes and probes that move towards the ends of the universe usually surprise us. However, sometimes they also prevent us from appreciating closer places that are just as or more amazing. To do some justice, we have compiled some of the wonders of Earth that appear to have been taken from another planet.

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Places on Earth taken from another planet

Place Location
Richat structure Mauritanian
Well of Darvaza Turkmenistan
Dallol crater Ethiopia
White Waterfall of Pamukkale Turkey
Waitomo Caves (Glowworm Caves) Waitomo, New Zealand
Tsingy Madagascar
Grand Prismatic Spring / Grand Prismatic Spring USA
Grotto of Sơn Đoòng Vietnam
Lençóis Maranhenses Maranhão, Brazil
Salar de Uyuni Uyuni, Bolivia
Valley of the moon Antofagasta, Chile
Wulingyuan Hunan, China

Richat structure, Mauritana

Also known as the “Eye of the Sahara”, the Richat structure has been one of the main points of interest since the first space missions. Yes, because given its circular shape, the formation of about 45 kilometers in diameter (28 miles) was believed to have originated due to the impact of a meteorite. However, today it is estimated that this strange geographical feature located in the middle of the Sahara desert, in Mauritania, was formed when a volcanic dome gradually hardened and eroded, exposing the layers of rock.

Darvaza Well, Turkmenistan

The Garagumyň ýalkymy (Glow of the Karakum Desert, in Turkmen), although better known as the “Gate to Hell,” this place in Darvaza, Turkmenistan, was originally a natural gas field. However, the structure collapsed in 1971, becoming a crater. Geologists set fire to prevent the methane gas from spreading and it has burned nonstop ever since. The crater has a diameter of 69 meters and a depth of 30 meters. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Turkmenistan.

Dallol Crater, Ethiopia

Located in the Erta Ale mountain range that crosses the Danakil desert in Ethiopia, the Dallol Crater is a volcanic formation in which basaltic magma, salt deposits and thermal activity mix. Due to its high temperatures, high acidity, high concentrations of salt and other metals, the geothermal area of ​​Dallol is considered one of the most hostile areas on the planet, which is why it has been studied by scientists for eventual missions to other planets.

White Waterfall of Pamukkale, Turkey

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, Pamukkale (Cotton Castle in Turkish) is known for its mineral-rich hot springs, which form terraces of limestone and white travertine. The fountains, which give the sensation of being in front of a frozen waterfall, arose about 2,500 years ago from the earthquakes registered in the area. At the top are the remains of the ancient Hellenistic city of Hierapolis, built at the end of the 2nd century BC. C.

Fly Geyser (Fly Ranch Geyser), United States

The Fly Geyser is a set of three hot springs whose formation originated as a result of human intervention. The first geyser dates from 1916, when residents drilled a well for water, while the main one was accidentally generated in 1964, after a geothermal power company drilled a well. Over the years, the sediments reached a height of about 6 feet and appear green and reddish colors, due to the combination of soil and thermophilic algae, which flourish in hot and humid environments. Studies have shown that important quartz reserves have developed within the sources.

This wonder of nature is located on the Fly Ranch, a 15-square-kilometer (6-square-mile) parcel on the edge of the Nevada Black Rock Desert, about two hours from Reno. The land was purchased in 2016 by the Burning Man Project for its conservation.

Tsingy, Madagascar

The Tsingy are wide areas of limestone and friable rocks of fossilized shells, so they can be broken with the fingers. The strange, sharp limestone pinnacles are the product of millions of years of erosion, when Madagascar was still attached to the African continent. The limestone formations, which look like natural skyscrapers that form a city, are spread over an area of ​​about 1,517 square kilometers. The formations are found in three regions of Madagascar, Melaky, Diego Suárez and Diana, although only the first two are World Heritage Sites.

Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

With an extension of 3.3 kilometers, the Waitomo Caves, also known as Glowworm Caves, are one of New Zealand’s top natural attractions. The greatest peculiarity of these limestone formations are the millions of firefly larvae luminous arachnocampa (endemic to New Zealand), which emit a bright light that attracts their prey. It is possible to enter the caves aboard the boats that sail through the Waitomo Creek.

Grand Prismatic Spring, United States

Considering mud pits, hot springs and geysers, with more than 10 thousand springs the Yellowstone national park The United States contains more than half the world’s hydrothermal reservoirs. But the most impressive of all is the Great Prismatic Spring or Grand Prismatic Spring, the third largest on the planet. Although there are previous antecedents, it was registered in 1871 by the American geologist Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden, who named it this way because of its striking coloration – the result of microbial mats – a particular combination of most of the colors seen through a optical prism: red, orange, yellow, green and blue.

Sơn Đoòng Grotto, Vietnam

With an extension of 4.5 kilometers, the Sơn Đoòng Grotto is considered the largest in the world. It was discovered in 2009 by British scientists on an expedition in Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, which has more than 150 similar cavities. The Sơn Đoòng Grotto has in its interior stalagmites – sediment formations that develop on the floor of the caves – more than 70 meters high. The park was recognized in 2003 as World Heritage by Unesco.

Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil

Located in the state of Maranhão, in the north of Brazil, the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park (PNLM) has an area of ​​155 thousand hectares, 90 thousand of which are made up of dunes and lagoons. This protected area is immersed in a transition zone of the coastal marine biomes of Cerrado, Caatinga and Amazonas and is made up of areas of sandbanks, free dune fields and the ocean coast.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

With an area of ​​10,582 square kilometers, the Salar de Uyuni is the largest continuous salt desert in the world, resulting from the evaporation of a sea and large lakes trapped between the Andean mountains. Located at 3,650 meters above sea level, it is also one of the highest on the planet. In the place you can see landscapes of extraordinary natural beauty, such as a perfect mirror of calm waters in rainy seasons or a feeling of infinity in dry periods. It has the largest reserve of lithium on the planet, but it also has minerals such as potassium, boron and magnesium.

Valley of the Moon, Chile

Located in the Atacama Desert, the driest on the planet. During the year it is surprising for its geological formations of salt crusts, while at sunset it acquires a color that mixes sand mountains, sharp ridges and reddish mounds, resembling landscapes of the moon. Thanks to its clear skies much of the year, it is one of the main points of astronomical observation of the planet. It was declared a Nature Sanctuary in 1981 by local authorities.

Wulingyuan, China

Declared World Heritage in 1992 by UNESCO, the Wulingyuan area of ​​the Zhangjiajie Forest Park It is known for its more than 3,000 stone pillars, made up of quartzite and sandstone. The geological formations of karst origin (rock dissolution) reach a height of 200 meters. Among all, the Hallelujah Mountain of Avatar stands out, named in this way in 2010 by the Hunan People’s Assembly for having served as the inspiration for the film’s “Hallelujah Mountains” Avatar.

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