Amazing Geological Oddities Part II

🔖 Science 
Ever since Amazing Geological Oddities was published, it has attracted quite a few comments. Most of them are useless Internet flame that you would expect to find anywhere, but several good people posted some great stuff. In this post, I will be collecting the best of the suggestions that people left on the original post. Enjoy! Link to original Post: http://www.fingel.com/2008/04/amazing-geological-oddities/

David Keech thoguht the Wave Rock in Hyden, Western Australia was pretty cool.

This incredible rock formation, named obviously because of its wave like shape, is approximately 15 meters (about 50 feet) tall and 110 meters (360 feet) long. The shape was caused by subsurface erosion of the granite rock. After the rock was exposed, algae began to grow on its face, causing the darker streaks that add to the look of this rock.

Dave recommended the Hell Gate in Uzbekistan.

This site is truly amazing, with an incredible back story as well. 35 years ago, geologists were drilling for gas outside the small town of Darvaz. The drilling equipment unexpectedly broke through a cavern and the entire thing caved in. The gas that the geologists were looking for began to seep through the ground, and to make sure that nobody was harmed by the potentially poisonous gas, they lit it on fire. It has been burning ever since with no end in sight.

Martin told us about the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.

The Bay of Fundy is not so much a marvel of geology as it a total coincidence. That doesnt mean its easy to understand how it works.  Oceanographers say that the huge tidal range, which can fluctuate an entire 17 merers (thats about 55 feet) is a result of the perfect timing of normal tides, and the amount of time a wave takes to move from the opening of the bay to the end. One thing I find funny about the Bay of Fundy is that although it has these huge tides, people still have docks with boats on them, even though half way through the day any boat will be grounded! [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Bay of fundy at high tide."][/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Same place at low tide!"]Same place at low tide![/caption] The bay of fundy really gets its justice with a video:

Todd gave us one of my favorite reccomendations, the Devils Tower in Wyoming.

This huge rock, as there is no other way to describe it, stands tall in comparison to its surroundings. Although still disputed, the prevailing (and this writers favorite) theory is that the formation is a volcanic plug of a long extinct volcano. Magma moved up the inside of the volcano, but before it could erupt, the volcano died and the magma was left sitting inside. The hard igneous rock that the magma formed is more resiliant to erosion that the surroundig volcano which has long ago been washed away. The Devils Tower hexagonal pattern is the result of the cooling of magma. When magma cools, it shrinks, causing the cracks and pattern. This is called Jointing.  The volacano that the Devils Tower was originally formed in would have been massive. There is a similar formation in Southern Oregon called Pilot rock that was formed the same way:

Daithi was the first, but not the last, to recommended the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Legend has it that the Giants Causeway was built by an Irish giant as a bridge to Scotland so he could fight his rival giant there. But really, the Giants Causeway was formed in much the same way as the Devils Tower and Pilot Rock. The rock is from an ancient volcanic eruption, and the cooling of the magma formed the hexagonal pillars, a phenomena called "jointing". The Giants Causeway covers a huge area that contains about 40,000 almost perfect hexagonal columns.

Tim wanted us to know about the incredible blue holes:

Blue holes are another result of Karst topography. That is, formation by massive amounts of erosion. Blue holes are named because of the contrast between their dark, deep inner waters and the light blue water surrounding them. Many of them are hundreds of feet deep, the deepest one is 663 feet deep! The water inside is extremely anoxic (without oxegen) so they don't support much life other than certain types of bacteria. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="The Belize blue hole, close up."]The Belize blue hole, close up.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="The same blue hole, but from a distance. "]The same blue hole, but from a distance. [/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Good for swimming?"]Good for swimming?[/caption]

Moving Rocks?

There seemed to be some controversy over how those moving rocks really move. Here is a great video that might help clear things up. Thanks Henry!

Tony left a brilliant comment that should be quoted:

"Enjoy the awesomeness of this world; you have only one chance at life to do so as the odds of experiencing life is immeasurably billions against. Don't waste it on negativity"
Thanks to all that enjoyed and left feedback on the original post! Hope everyone enjoys round 2!