Only a few places on earth are as stunning as the Rainbow Mountains of China. This major tourist attraction has been photographed many times. Furthermore, it has never failed to leave anyone in awe. Sure, you may find similar mountain ranges in Canada. But this striking candy-colored mountain range is so impressive that it received the coveted UNESCO World Heritage Status.
Although it may be hard to believe, the Rainbow Mountains and their striking stripes are a natural formation.
Where are the Rainbow Mountains of China?
You can find the Rainbow Mountains of China in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, Zhangye in Gansu province.
More than 55 million years ago, the mountains were underwater. The collision of the Indian and Eurasian Plates shifted the landscape, bringing the mountain range above water.
Over time, the flat sandstones forme, leading to the exposure of the different minerals and causing a reaction from the elements. The constant weathering and erosion eventually resulted in the famous candy-colored stripes we see today running through the heart of the mountain range.
How were the Stripes Formed?
You’ll be surprised by how many theories there are regarding the creation of the famous stripes. The most popular claims that when the area was underwater, a large amount of red sandstone shifted onto the mountain range when the ocean floor turned into a riverbed.
Another theory suggested that the different colors formed over millions of years ago were salt deposits trapped within each layer of rock. Each layer has a different amount of sedimentary rock and salt content. The varying levels of metals and minerals in each layer led to the fantastic display of colors in the mountain range.
Different Viewing Platforms
China has tried to make viewing the Rainbow Mountains of China as simple as possible for tourists. You’ll find several viewing platforms in the area that give you a breathtaking view of the mountains’ layers. The first viewing platform named the Fairy Platform has an impressive 666 steps.
Apart from being one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, according to Architectural Digest, the mountains have also been featured by many media outlets. Furthermore, visitors of the Geological Park make the most of its natural beauty by taking photos to take home as souvenirs.
The Rainbow Mountains of China are undoubtedly one of the natural wonders of the world with a one-of-a kind and picturesque view of the colored stripes. Truly, it’s a sight to behold.