Here’s a list of amazing landscapes. Each has its own unique geological history. Some landscapes are the result of erosion or tectonic processes. If you love the beauty of nature and have the means, these are places worth visiting they are just superb and amazing.
Let’s start from the “Cradle of humankind” – Africa.
Table Mountain, South Africa
The sandstone layers of South Africa’s Table Mountain were laid down 300 million years ago. Overtime, the sand hardened into rock and was uplifted without folding, so its layers are still horizontal. Erosion has worn away everything but the distinctive table rock that remains. Table Mountain rises 3,566 ft. (1,087 m) above Cape Town.
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Ahaggar Mountains, Algeria
From the desolate Sahara desert plain rise the majestic Ahaggar Mountains. The tallest of these spiny peaks is about 9,840 ft. (3,000 m) high. The mountains are made of igneous rocks – granites and lavas including phonolite. Phonolite, meaning “sound stone,” is so called because when it is hit with a hammer, it gives off a musical note. The phonolite cooled and cracked into long, thin shapes that give the Ahaggars their ribbed surface. Now let’s proceed to the largest continent – Asia.
Guilin Hills, China
Over hundreds of millions of years, the limestone in the hills of Guilin has been slowly dissolved by rain, creating a landscape called tower of karts. The flat lands at the bottoms of the hills, covered by rice paddy fields, are layered with vast amounts of clay washed away with the limestone. Rivers snake their way around these strange, weathered remains.
Mount Fuji, Japan
The majestic snow-capped volcano Mount Fuji is 12,388 ft. (3,776 m) high. The volcano has been active for thousands of years. When it last erupted in 1707, black ash fell in the streets of Tokyo, 62 miles (100 km) away. Its name comes from “fuchi,” which means fire, a word of the Ainu, the original people of the Japanese islands. Fuji is a sacred place of pilgrimage. Thousands of people each year climb the mountain to watch the sun rise. From Asia we’ll go to the land down under – Australia.
The Olgas, Australia
Resembling huge red rock haystacks, the Olgas (or Kata Tjuta – meaning many heads to the Australian Aborigines) are clustered on the sandy Australian plains. The plain is covered with regolith – rock-sand and clay weathered from the underlying solid rocks. Erosion does not remove the regolith, so overtime it gets thicker, until it is burying all but the highest points of the underlying solid rock. These island mountains are called inselbergs. Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) is another example. From land down under let’s go to the land of beautiful people – South America.
The Pantanal, Brazil
In the back country of Brazil, seasonal rainfall in the mountains feeds mighty rivers. Where these rivers travel over the level swamplands of the Pantanal, they spread out, flooding the land. When the rains stop, hundred of shallow pools are left behind. The swamps cover an area the size of Great Britain.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
The waterfall with the longest drop in the world tumbles 3,212 ft. (979 m) off the wet swamplands of a plateau called Auyan Tepui in Venezuela. It is named after the pilot Jimmy Angel, the first outsider to see the falls in 1935. The water changes into white mist before reaching the bottom. From south, let’s move to the north, the third largest continent – North America.
Bryce Canyon, Utah
The Hoodoos (from African word meaning “spirit”) of Bryce canyon are a mass of pinnacles sculpted from layers of soft young rock. The canyon’s pink-orange limestone is sediment that collected in a lake 60 million years ago. The attack of wind, snow, and rain has worn the rocks into colorful hoodoos.
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Monument Valley, Utah/Arizona
The large mesas and smaller buttes that tower over Monument Valley are isolated flat-topped mountains, made of horizontal layers of sedimentary rock. Over hundreds of thousands of years they have worn away, leaving behind tall towers of rock.
Canadian Tundra, Canada
In summer, soggy plains stretch in all directions in the Arctic regions of northern Canada and Siberia. Below the surface the ground is permanently frozen, so the summer melt water has nowhere to go and collects in swampy pools. At the end of the summer these pools of water freeze again. When water just beneath the surface expands to form ice, it may push the soil up into small domes called pingoes.