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Favorite Pictures


Petrified Forest

This is one of the most amazing places we have seen so far.

Soon, there will be a detailed report of this adventure, but for now, enjoy the pictures.

This is not your occasional fossil laying around somewhere. This is so much petrified wood, that 12 tons can be stolen every year and there is still enough left ot build a house from it!
Agate house - built entirely from petrified wood.
Now, how did all this petrified wood get here?

200 million years ago, this area was covered with a tropical forest. In seasonal flooding, trees were washed away from the forest and accumulated in sandy river channels, where they were later buried by layers of gravely sand, rich in volcanic ash from volcanoes further to the west. The silica in the volcanic ash permineralized the buried logs. Over a long periode of time, all the wood was replaced with silica, colored with oxides of iron and manganese. Much later yet, the desert wind blew the sand away, leaving only the heavy silica deposits.

And so, something like this (bottom left), turned into something like this (bottom right).
With a little bit of imagination, one can still see that this once was a river bed.

The whole area is part of the badlands and the Painted Desert.

...and it is littered with petrified tree trunks!

The longest logs are in the southern part of the park. Below (half burried) is the longest one - a 117 feet long giant.

Our two favorite pieces.

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