Eye of the Sahara – A Geological Mystery

By Anupum Pant

Unlike the great wall of China, this huge eye-like geological formation in the Sahara desert is actually visible from the space. In fact, it wasn’t even discovered before the space age.

The Richat Structure, or as some say, eye of the Sahara, is a deeply eroded and a slightly elliptical formation in the Sahara desert near Ouadane, west–central Mauritania. The whole structure is approximately 50 km wide and has several concentric formations. Since it is so large, it wasn’t identified till the astronauts saw it from the space. Here’s a google satellite image of the structure.

Some other times, people have also called it the Blue eye of Africa. That is because in some images taken by the NASA, the geological formation looks blue in colour.

Although the formation itself is an incredible thing to watch, there’s something more astounding about it. No one till date has been able to explain the reason behind the formation of this huge blue eye in the centre of the desert.

Since the formation is very circular (not too elliptical), some say that it was formed due to a asteroid strike. That theory however has been debunked and  it was said that it was probably formed due to a volcanic eruption. And as there is no evidence of any igneous or volcanic rock in that place, the volcanic eruption theory doesn’t work too.

Other interesting point of view is that the almost equidistant concentric rings from the centre might be so symmetrical because they were probably man-made. Also, the whole formation seems to fit the description of Atlantis given by Plato. Although it seems highly improbable that this was the city of Atlantis, it is still a very interesting way to look at it.

Anyway, there’s a lot to be studied about it, but the inaccessibility of the place makes it harder. Maybe in the near future, scientists might be able to find what actually caused this geological formation.

via [GigalResearch]

There Is No Lake Like The Taal Lake

By Anupum Pant

Geologically this is quite a phenomenon and might get a bit confusing to grasp if you stop paying enough attention. Here we go…

Island in a lake on an island in a lake…

Taal lake is a freshwater lake on the Luzon island of Philippines. Almost at the center of this lake, is an island called the volcano island. At the center of this island is another lake called the main crater lake. And in this lake is a small landmass called the Vulcan point. [map]

Now take a deep breath…in short, it is, Luzon island > Taal lake > Volcano island > Main crater lake > Vulcan Point.

The main crater lake: Even though the crater lake isn’t a very big lake, it is still claimed as the  world’s largest lake on an island (Volcano Island) in a lake (Taal Lake) on an island (Luzon). Of course it is, where else in the whole world would you find a lake on an island in a lake on an island?

Vulcan point: On this world’s largest lake on an island in a lake on an island, is a tiny land mass called the Vulcan Point which is the world’s largest volcano in a lake (Main Crater Lake) on a volcano (Taal Volcano). It isn’t even big enough to support a small house.

Home to Unique Species

But all that is just a part of what is interesting about the Taal lake. Ecologically it is another marvel in a way that it is home to a few species of animals that are found nowhere else on earth. In this lake you’ll find the only varieties of fresh water sardines, sharks and sea snakes.

Reason: This lake was not a lake several thousands of years back. Then, due to volcanic eruptions, it got separated from the sea. Now the only thing that connected this water mass and the sea was Pansipit river. Gradually, several hundreds of years of precipitation converted this lake from a saltwater lake to a freshwater lake. For centuries, animals living here have remained isolated and have evolved into unique species to adapt to this desalination.