Another piece of nature’s artwork found in
Utah, the Arches National Park is known
for its inspiring natural arches. Salt beds
deposited 300 million years ago from the
receding ocean helped form the more than
2000 arches in the park. As the salt shifted,
the rock layered on top began to move
creating domes and fins. As rain and ice
found its way into crevices, it eroded the
top Entrada and Navajo sandstone. Add
wind to the mix and over the course of
millions of years, the amazing arches
Up to 300 meter (1000 foot) sandstone
buttes and mesas make up the Monument
Valley which is located on the border of
Utah and Arizona. Probably the most
famous example of the classic American
West landscape the area has been the
backdrop for numerous western movies,
ranging from Stagecoach starring John
Wayne to Back to the Future II.
Technically it is not a valley at all, but a
wide flat landscape interrupted by the
crumbling rock formations. The buttes are
all that is left from the sandstone layers
that once covered the entire region and
have vivid red tones from the iron oxide.
Situated about 45 km north of the Farafra
oasis in the vast Western Desert of Egypt,
the White Desert is made of oddly shaped
chalk formation. In clear contrast with the
yellowish brown of the surrounding desert,
the White Desert is stark white reminding
of an Arctic landscape. The soft chalk
material, at the mercy of the elements has
been contoured into amazing shapes. A
few of the shapes resemble marshmallows,
camels, and mushrooms. The imagination
goes wild in this very remote spot.
Arizona Rock Formation near the
Grand Canyon
A view from above the Banff Hoodoos
on the climb out of the valley
La Poronga, Tupiza, Southern
Altiplano, Bolivia, South America
Melnik Pyramids
Melnika, Bulgaria
Roque Cinchado Tenerife
The Queen's Head (女王頭) in
Yehliu, Taiwan
Four hoodoos in Devil's Garden (Grand
Staircase-Escalante National Monument)
Wairarapa in the Aorangi Ranges, NZ -
Part of the Paths of the Dead sequence
in the film The Lord of the Rings: The
Return of the King was filmed on
location here.
Đavolja Varoš (Devil's Town) in south
Serbia on the Radan Mountain near
Demoiselles Coiffees de Pontis
near Embrun in the French Alps, on the
edge of the Lac de Serre-Ponçon
Tent rocks (earth pyramids, fairy
chimneys) near Cavusin, Cappadocia
Hoodoo and balancing rock within the
Chinle Formation, west of Moab, Utah,
along the Chicken Corners off-road
Alberta, Red Deer River Valley;
Hoodoos near Drumheller
Quiz #446 Results
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Answers to Quiz #446 - August 31, 2014
1. Where was this photo taken?
2. Was are two names given to this kind of rock formation?
3. Where else can you find them?
Comments from Our Readers
I was looking at all those incredible hot air balloon shots in Cappadocia and I have
to say that they look surreal. More like paintings than real photos. And what
interesting rock formations these are!!  Must be awesome to view them in a hot air
Cynthia Costigan
I was probably incorrect in answering the third question with the Pinnacles, Searles
Lake, California,  as these are tufa pinnacles without a cap.  Also I guess one of the
preferred names is Hoodoo instead of pinnacle, which would mean Bryce Canyon
National Park would be an answer to question 3 since those formations are referred
to as hoodoo.

In a rush today.

Great scenery for ballooning.
Edna Cardinal
Thanks for the info about the tufa pinnacles.  You're right they are different.  
Different shapes, and made out of calcium carbonate and not sedimentary rock.
- Q. Gen.
I would not want to crash land a hot air balloon on one  of these spires. There are
hot air balloon rides over flat lands in USA.
Mike Dalton
Since I was born and raised in Trona I vote for those Pinnacles as opposed to many
others that can be found.
Edna Cardinal
I recognized Cappadocia right away, since going there is on my bucket list,so it
was easy to find the answers to the other questions.
Check out the Drumheller Alberta Sites and the Royal Tyrell Museum of  
Paleontology.  We have wonderful badlands here in the Red Deer River Valley,
north east of Calgary.  Devil’s coulee is only about 25 mikes from Lethbridge,  
which is the site of Dinosaur eggs and excavations.

Google Images for hoodoos of alberta canada

Cheeers for now.
Winnifred Evans
Hehe, the National Geographic link appeared on top when I went to the images, so I
got rightaway the photo flip. It was an easy one for me because my hometown has
a hot air balloon festival and on the orthwest, there is a valley with rock formations
(not as spectacular as Cappadocia), so I just merged both phrases and the image
appeared immediately.

Never been on one, my only chance was blown by the wind, but I'll do it once we
pass these extremely hard times.
Ida Sanchez
The National Hot Air Balloon Championships used to be held here in Iowa. What
magnificent balloons! What an experience to watch them! We have never had an
opportunity to ride in one, however. How was the landing of your hot air balloon?
Smooth or rather bumpy?   Thanks, Fearless Leader!   
Grace Hertz
I have not tried Tineye. My search was by internet, Google for wind eroded rock,
view images of the results, pick matching rock formations, find that it was Turkey,
add Cappadocia and hot air balloon search, view images of results, select match. I
searched Shutterstock images at some stage.

We have a hot air balloon festival in Hamilton and have them flying overhead, but no
rocks!! The balloons give you great photo opportunities.
Brett Robinson
[Hot air ballooning in Turkey] would be awesome! Someday when I retire I will get
to travel more...3 years and counting down!
Liz Rector
A quick Google search gave me this information.
Dianne Scannell
Incredibly beautiful.
Beth Long
Lovely picture!!!
Judy Pfaff

Congratulations to Our Winners!

Marcelle Comeau                Arthur Hartwell
Cynthia Costigan                John Thatcher
Elaine C. Hebert                Daniel Dean
Liz Rector                Margaret Paxton
Edna Cardinal                Mike Dalton
Brett Robinson                Tynan Peterson
Tom Collins                DianneScannell
Leon Stuckenschmidt                Ida Sanchez
Jillian Dart                Beth Long
Judy Pfaff                Ellen Welker
Winnifred Evans                Rebecca Bare

The Fabulous Fletchers!
Grace Hertz and Mary Turner
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1. Capadoccia, Turkey
2. Fairy Chimneys, Hoodoos, Tent Rocks, Earth Pyramids
3. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Aultderg Burn, Fochabers, Scotland
Yehliu, Taiwan
Pontis, French Alps
Wairarapa, New Zealand
and many other locations worldwide.
See below.
I really LOVED this quiz - what beautiful scenery I looked at while researching the third
question, not just Cappadocia but the other locations as well.

When I first looked at the photo, I thought ....hmmm, I know Albuquerque, New
Mexico has a hot air balloon festival every year (it's on our Bucket List) but the rocks
are the wrong colour that area of the U.S. southwest. And I don't recall seeing those
types of formation around Albuquerque.

So I did a google search using the keywords "hot air balloons unusual rock formations"
and of course I got a lot of hits about Cappadocia. And a lot of images - including the
National Geographic one (in reverse).

I then wondered about the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park, we were there
years ago when our girls were young and were just blown away by that scenery. Sure
enough, I discovered the variety of names for these rock formations. I really like the
french names too!

I didn't include this but in one article I read it also talked about 'balancing rocks' and
they seemed to imply the terms hoodoo and balancing rock was synonymous. As it
turns out, we have our own balancing rock in our neck of the woods - in Tiverton,
Long Island, Digby Co. If you look at this site you'll see us halfway down the list. It
would never inspire a hot air balloon ride but it is a very nice hike or lovely to view
from a whale watching expedition!

Marcelle Comeau

We actually featured a photo of Balancing Rock in one of our early quizzes. Check

- Q. Gen.
Comments from Quizmaster Marcelle Comeau
Fairy Chimneys, Hoodoos, Tent Rocks, Earth Pyramids
A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney, and earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire
of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos,
which may range from 1.5–45 metres (4.9–147.6 ft), typically consist of relatively soft
rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the
elements. They generally form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations.
Hoodoos are found mainly in the desert in
dry, hot areas. In common usage, the
difference between hoodoos and pinnacles
or spires is that hoodoos have a variable
thickness often described as having a
"totem pole-shaped body". A spire, on the
other hand, has a smoother profile or
uniform thickness that tapers from the
ground upward. An example of a single
spire, as an earth pyramid, is found at
Aultderg Burn, near Fochabers, Scotland.

Hoodoos range in size from that of an
average human to heights exceeding a 10-
story building. Hoodoo shapes are
affected by the erosional patterns of
alternating hard and softer rock layers.
Minerals deposited within different rock
types cause hoodoos to have different
colors throughout their height.


Hoodoos are commonly found in the High
Plateaus region of the Colorado Plateau
and in the Badlands regions of the
Northern Great Plains (both in North
America). While hoodoos are scattered
throughout these areas, nowhere in the
world are they as abundant as in the
northern section of Bryce Canyon
National Park, located in the U.S. state of
Utah (see geology of the Bryce Canyon

Hoodoos are a tourist attraction in the
Cappadocia region of Turkey, where
houses have been carved from these
formations. These rock formations were
depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 50
new lira banknote of 2005–2009.

In French, they are called demoiselles
coiffées ("ladies with hairdos") or
cheminées de fées ("fairy chimneys") and
a number of them are found in the Alpes-
de-Haute-Provence; one of the best-
known examples is the formation called
Demoiselles Coiffées de Pontis.

Đavolja Varoš (Devil's Town) hoodoos in
Serbia feature 202 exotic formations
described as earth pyramids or "towers",
as the locals refer to them. Since 1959,
Đavolja Varoš has been protected by the
state, and it is also a nominee in the New
Seven Wonders of Nature campaign.

The hoodoo stones on the northern coast
of Taiwan are unusual for their coastal
setting. The stones formed as the seabed
rose rapidly out of the ocean during the
Miocene epoch. Efforts have been made
to slow the erosion in the case of iconic
specimens in Wanli.

Hoodoos in Drumheller, Alberta, are a
distinctive feature that continues to attract
thousands of visitors each year. These
hoodoos in particular formed between 70
and 75 million years ago during the
Cretaceous Period as clay and sand
sediments from the Horseshoe Canyon
Formation were deposited. These hoodoos
are able to maintain a unique mushroom-
like appearance as the underlying base
erodes at a faster rate compared to the
capstones, a rate of nearly one centimeter
per year, faster than most geologic

Hoodoos typically form in areas where a
thick layer of a relatively soft rock, such
as mudstone, poorly cemented sandstone
or tuff (consolidated volcanic ash), is
covered by a thin layer of hard rock, such
as well-cemented sandstone, limestone or
basalt. In glaciated mountainous valleys
the soft eroded material may be glacial till
with the protective capstones being large
boulders in the till. Over time, cracks in
the resistant layer allow the much softer
rock beneath to be eroded and washed
away. Hoodoos form where a small cap
of the resistant layer remains, and protects
a cone of the underlying softer layer from
erosion. Further erosion of the soft layer
causes the cap to be undercut, eventually
falling off, and the remaining cone is then
quickly eroded.

Typically, most hoodoos form from two
weathering processes that continuously
work together in eroding the edges of a
rock formation. The primary weathering
force at Bryce Canyon (as one example) is
frost wedging. The hoodoos at Bryce
Canyon experience over 200 freeze/thaw
cycles each year. In the winter, melting
snow, in the form of water, seeps into the
cracks and then freezes at night. When
water freezes it expands by almost 10%,
pries open the cracks bit by bit, making
them even wider, much like the way a
pothole forms in a paved road.

In addition to frost wedging, rain also
sculpts these hoodoos. In most places
today, the rainwater is slightly acidic,
which lets the weak carbonic acid slowly
dissolve limestone grain by grain. It is this
process that rounds the edges of hoodoos
and gives them their lumpy and bulging
profiles. Where internal mudstone and
siltstone layers interrupt the limestone,
you can expect the rock to be more
resistant to the chemical weathering
because of the comparative lack of
limestone. Many of the more durable
hoodoos are capped with a special kind of
magnesium-rich limestone called dolomite.

Dolomite, being fortified by the mineral
magnesium, dissolves at a much slower
rate, and consequently protects the
weaker limestone underneath it. Rain is
also the chief source of erosion (the actual
removal of the debris). In the summer,
monsoon type rainstorms travel through
the Bryce Canyon region bringing short
duration high intensity rain.
To see beautiful photographs of hoodoos around the world,

Other interesting rock formations from
around the world
Googled "Hot Air Balloon Festival Rock Formations". Done.

Funny, last week's photo was about a man being in the wrong place
and the wrong time doing a wrong thing, and this week's photo,
according to NatGeo was about being at the right place and the right
time, and having a little bit of luck.

Coming from a place full of volcanoes and rocky formations,
Cappadocia has been officially added to my "most visit in
lifetime list. And, I have to admit my brain is too dirty when I saw
those rocks.

Ida Sanchez
How Ida Solved the Puzzle