Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The Unique Fairy Stones of Harricana River

The fairy stones of Harrican river have seen in the past that concretions the precipitation of minerals around particles generally take spherical or oval shapes, as in the case of Klerksdorp Spheres and Moeraki boulders. Because pearl is another good example of concretions, can also take rare shapes. They are made of fine sand and clay, solidified by nature.  The originality and the forms of these stones are a phenomenon unique to Northern Quebec, particularly on the bottom of the big Lakes with a glacier origin.

In the Harricana River valley in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue administrative region of Quebec, Canada, concretions occur as flat discs, smooth on one side and puffed up on the other with stunning patterns. They were shaped over thousands of years by deposition of calcium carbonate over trifling pebbles and fossils. This is called “Fairy Stones” since hundreds of years, and used to carry them as fortunate charms when they went on fishing or hunting expeditions. The irregular lines on the stones are caused by the traces left by miniature worms or organic remains which were fossilized thousands of years ago.

It is believed that wearing a Fairy Stone would protect them against bad spirits and bring them good prosperity and health. However, geologists believe that Fairy Stones may have formed under a glacier, which recoiled thousands of years ago. Then they were carried by the water and deposited along the shores of certain lakes and rivers. Hence, one of the main rivers where Fairy Stones are found is the Harricana River, the second longest river in Canada. The name "Harricana" came from the Algonquin word Nanikana, which means “the river of biscuits” Biscuit refers to the unusual flat stones, sand, limestone and clay concretions, which are found in the river, called Pierres de fée or "fairy stones. A less romanticized version says Nanikana means "the main way".

These stones are frequently found in soft deposits under clay. The rounded, puffed up shapes come from the growing face that is face down in the clay, whereas the tops are weathered even by the retreating glacier and water. These are lying in the mud, they look like normal flat stones, but turn them over and you will amazed to see many different shapes and formation, as each Fairy stone is unique. These stones have been valued for a long time by the native community that lives around these stones birthplace. These stones have a strong link to the nurturing energies of the earth mother.  It can help teach you to care and have concern for the planet and all those upon it.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Race Course or Jilani Park is one of best Park you would ever visit. Here you can see a great manmade waterfall, pouring water from some distance. Peoples love to see this amazing fall with his family and friends. Every day myriad crowds visit this fall, and takes selfies and capture the memorable moments. Here you can some of best shots i took there.

The Amazing Tree Pouring Water

The first question comes in our mind why the water pouring out from this tree in Montenegro? A unique natural phenomenal video shared by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in a village named “Dinoša”, located in southeastern Montenegro a small country on the Adriatic coast.

The mulberry tree standing in the meadow there that turns into a fountain whenever it rains heavy. From a hollow on the tree trunk water can be seen gushing abundantly. Although, actually, the rains had flooded the underground springs and the extra pressure formed pushed water up the tree trunk through cracks or hollows on the trunk, until it poured out of a hole a few feet above the ground.

In the video, one can easily see, that ground is quite sloppy signifying the amount of groundwater there is in the soil and below. You can also see water gurgling out of other holes in the meadow. The entire area is flowing like a small stream. As per locals, this natural wonder is happening from more than 30 years or so. The estimated life of tree is more than 125 years old. Whereas Montenegro’s tree fountain is certainly unique, it isn’t the only example of water gushing out of the ground after rains.

In the Estonian village of Tuhala, there is an exclusive well that starts spouting water after a heavy downpour. The well happens to be placed just over an underground river. Thus, after heavy rain water floods the river, water pressure builds to the point that it shoots up out of the well, every so often up to half a meter high. This cycle continues last for a few days. Therefore, during this time, more than 105 liters of water can flow out every second. The local peoples says, that is the witches of Tuhala gather in the sauna underground and beats each other vigorously with birch branches causing water to pour out on the surface. They call it the Witch’s Well.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Qutub Minar, India

A 73 meter tall, 14.3 meters base diameter Qutub Minar is forms in the Mehruali Area of Dehli India. The UNESCO world heritage site tilts just over 65 cm from the vertical contains spiral staircase of 379 steps. The five storeys tall tapering tower design have been based on the Minaret of Jam, in Afghanistan. The Qutub Minar is a minaret which laid the foundation of Minar were started by Qutub ud Din Aibek around in 1192, however his son in law Shams ud din Iltutmish finish the Minar in 1220. The minar stood stand another 149 years, after massive lightning strike damaged the top storey, which were replaced by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1369 and added one more storey.  Another Muslim ruler Sher Shah Suri also added an entrance to this tower while he was ruling and Humayun was at an exile. Moreover, several inscriptions in Parso-Arabic and Nagari characters in different sections of the Qutab Minar reveal the history of its construction, and the later restorations and repairs by Firoz Shah Tughluq (1351–89) and Sikandar Lodi in 1489–1517). The Qutub Minar name is actually derived from the Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki whom Qutab Ud-Din-Aibak revered. On 1 September 1803, a massive earthquake caused serious damage to Qutub Minar. Major Robert Smith of the British Indian Army renewed the tower in 1828 and installed a pillared cupola over the fifth story, thus creating a sixth.

The tower was built to celebrate Muslim dominance in Delhi after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu ruler. The Qutub Minar is the highest tower in India. A noteworthy image of Qutub minaret is featured on the travel cards issued by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, in collaboration with the Archaeological survey of India has made a 360o walkthrough of Qutab Minar available. The site served as the pit stop of the second leg of the second series of The Amazing race Australia. The general public was allowed to go upstairs of minaret, but unluckily a chaos was happened in 1981, when internal staircase lighting failed, which in results of massive stampeded towards the exit and 45 people were killed in crush and few injured.  Since then Qutub Minaret has been closed for public. The Qutube MInar is surrounded by many historical monuments of Qutab Complex, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque “established in 1192 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate”, Alai Darwaza, Alai Minar, Ala-ud-din Madrasa and much older iron pillar of Delhi made up of 98% wrought iron and has not rusted till date. Moreover Ala'i Minar which stands to the north of Qutub-Minar, was commenced by Muslim ruler Alau'd-Din Khalji, with the intention of making it twice the size of earlier Minar. He could complete only the first storey which now has an extant height of 25 m. Ala'i-Darwaza, the southern gateway of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque was constructed by Alau'd-Din Khalji in 1311 as recorded in the inscriptions engraved on it. This is the first building employing Islamic principles of construction and ornamentation.

Qutub Minar has been counted as the highest brick tower in the world enthralled by the huge structure that withstood all tests of time. Some believes that this prodigious architectural structure was built to propound the prominence of the Islam religion, however many had the notions that that was built for defensive purpose. The Qutub Minar first three storeys comprise fluted cylindrical shafts or columns of pale red sandstone, parted by darker red sandstone flanges and by storeyed balconies, carried on Muqarnas corbels. However the fourth column is of marble, and is relatively plain. The 5th is of marble and sandstone. The flanges are engraved with Quranic texts and decorative elements. The whole tower is considered to be within safe limits, although experts have stated that monitoring is needed in case rainwater seepage further weakens the foundation. Apart from the tower, a 7 metre high iron pillar, the tomb of Iltutmish, Ala’i-Darwaza and the Ala’I Minar. This tall majestic structure is visited by thousands of travelers every year from all over the world. The best time to visit Qutub Minar is spring season, when the climate is pleasing and it is the tourism season of the country.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Ubehebe Crater, Death Valley

In the Death Valley, you can find a large volcanic crater “Uhehebe” located at the north trip of Cottonwood Mountain. It is one of the many unique geologic features of Death Valley, which is believed, somewhere 2000 to 7000 years old. The Uhehebe Crater is one kilometer wide and 777 feet deep. Ubehebe Crater is a maars volcano. The formation was made when magma migrated close to the surface and heat caused groundwater to flash into steam, tossing massive quantities of pulverized old rock and fresh magma across the stony alluvial fan draped across the valley. However, the western cluster of Maar volcanoes was the first to form, then the southern cluster, followed by Ubehebe the largest of them all possibly 300 years ago. During the eruption, volcanic material in the form of ash and cinders was thrown out six miles from the craters.

The Ubehebe Crater is known as "Tem-pin-tta- Wo’sah", meaning Coyote’s Basket.  Furthermore, the colorful layers in the crater’s eastern wall are “fanglomerates” is an alluvial fan deposit hardened into rock. Sandstone and conglomerate, loosely cemented together by calcite make up this conglomerate and most of the pieces of rock are either volcanic or metamorphic. Hence, water erosion created the deep gullies that you see on the crater’s east side. The pink and brown mud flat at the bottom of the crater is the site of many short-lived lakes. At least a dozen craters are located within an area of 3 sq km, and bedded pyroclastic-surge deposits cover an area of 15 sq km. In this area volcanic soil is rich in nutrients and wildflower like Bigelow Monkeyflower absorbs heat, tend to bloom very early here, even in the late winter months, you might see some spring flowers early.

Moreover, winds at the rim of “Ubehebe” are very powerful and often gust above 50 mph, thus it is an easy walk and you can relish the stunning landscapes. Three major trails leads you to crater, one is start from parking area to bottom of Ubehebe, second is circumnavigates the crater rims, and third trail is leads off to little Hebe. Hence, the past 7,000 years, erosion has been creating deep crevices and fascinating patterns on the inner crater walls and they are at their most dramatic when the sun is low in the sky.  It is highly recommended to view the crater is when the sun is low in the sky in the morning or late afternoon. This amazing crater is impossible to describe in a way that does it justice. The depth and breadth is staggering, as the colors varied and beautiful. When you visit Ubehebe crater please be sure, you must stay on the trail since the crater rim and adjacent gullies are composed of very fragile material making them unstable and dangerous.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Shehr-e-Roghan, The Mysterious Cave City

In Balochistan, Pakistan there is a famous archaeological town called “Shehr-e-Roghan” referred to the city of caves or city of Jinns. It is known now as Lasbela, located approximately 175 km from Karachi in the province of Balochistan.  The wilderness of Balochistan had traces of legends heavily influenced by Persian lore that connects the North and South of Pakistan. This is genuinely a true archaeological treasure but unfortunately this amazing treasure is concealed from the world. Different historians narrate Shehr-e-Roghan also called “Gondrani” with the Buddhists of 7th century AD. This amazing archaic cave city is elongating more than an area of three kilometers. Now what is so unique these cave houses are multi storey and are inter connected with each other through sundry walkways every cave house has a solo room and some have a veranda in front.

Different people have different thoughts, however it is said, that in the time of King of Soloman, a beautiful princess “Badiul Jamal” who was possessed by demons. So many princes tried hard to rescue her but could not successes. One day a prince Saiful Malook came and got rid of her tormentors. He vanquished the demons that haunted the Princess in the Cave city and they both left and went to into the North. Many myths are ascribed to this unexplained place. The locals of Shehr-e-Roghan believe that this might be the city of Jinns. With the passage of time, the caves conditions shaped in poor conditions due to high rate of erosion and lack of conservation efforts from the government. There is a grave of an old woman named Mai Balochani who yielded her life to execute the evil presences and recovery the nearby individuals.

A mystical legend says it was a city of huge Buddhist monastery because 1000 years before Buddhism had flourished in this area. In the British regime, more than 1500 rooms were found, which had ample windows and niches made for what historians believed, were for lamps and hearths in the center of the rooms were also found to keep the inhabitants warm. There were also many pathways within the mountain that connected the rooms together. If government gives some attention, then ancient cave city attracts both local and foreign tourists. The local travelers are looking this amazing site for an interesting expedition to explorer the mysteries.  

Therefore, questions still in people minds, that who built these inscrutable caves? Who lived in them? This is still a mystery there is no precise information available but one thing is for sure that this place is extremely marvelous. However, archaeologists and historians thought that the caves have the makings of a Buddhist monastery, probably dating back to the 7th century. So, rumors all over prevails in the recent times, that demons still inhabit the mountains and caves and attack the unwary visitors.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Badwater Basin, The Lowest Point in North America

In the Death Valley, there is an endorheic basin called Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North American with a depth of 282feet below sea level. The Badwater basin comprises of small spring-fed pool next to the road in a sink, accumulated salts of the surrounding basin make it undrinkable, thus giving it the name. The pool site itself does have animal and plant life, including pickleweed, aquatic insects, and the Badwater snail. The area which close to Badwater basin, where water is not always present at the surface, repeated freeze-thaw and evaporation cycles slowly push the thin salt crust into hexagonal honeycomb shapes. This is a popular site for tourists are the sign marking "sea level" on the cliff above the Badwater Basin. Badwater never dries out totally, and even manages to support a unique species of fish - the Death Valley pupfish, a small bluish creature which has evolved to survive in the hot saline conditions.  The salt pools, several routes towards the mouth of the valley, before sinking into the sand.

Moreover, the pool is not the lowest point of the basin; it is actually several miles to the west and varies in position subject to rainfall and evaporation patterns. The salt flats are hazardous to traverse to the sign marking the low point is at the pool instead. The area has extreme temperatures most of the year, but humidity from evaporation of salty water makes all movements more difficult than usual. The shade temperature crosses above 120°F, stands for a while really unforgettable in stifling heat. Be careful when you are walking as some of it can be brittle and break. As soon as you get the large concentration of salt, you can start to see the individual crystals that form with the life cycle of rain and evaporation.

At Badwater Basin, significant rainstorms flood the valley bottom periodically, well covering the salt pan with a thin sheet of standing water. This is the greatest evaporation potential in the United States, meaning that a 12 feet lake could dry up in a single year. When the basin is flooded, some of the salt is dissolved; it is redeposited as clean crystals when the water evaporates. Further low points aren’t usually popular tourist sites, but when you get to claim to be the lowest point in in the United States, it doesn’t matter if you are depressed or just a geography nut, it’s a site to see. So, no trip to Death Valley would be complete without a stop at the lowest point of Badwater Basin, right in the heart of the Death Valley National Park. Source: Charismatic Planet

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Mysterious Ancient Camel Sculptures in Saudi desert

Squinting in the Saudi desert, unprecedented archaeological discovery of camels carved on russet-hued rocky spurs that could shed new light on the evolution of rock art. Almost a dozen humped sculptures, some of them damaged from erosion and vandalism, are probably around 2,000 years old and were recently discovered in a private property along a desert crossing in the northern province of Al-Jouf. The sculptures, which also depict equids, or hoofed mammals, show a level of artistic skill unseen in other rock art forms in the Saudi desert.  This is great work of artistry and creativity, now well known in archeological circles as “the camel site”. Khalifah a researcher explored the site in 2016 and 2017, accidentally found the carvings, when a local friend told him about camel shaped mountain.  Despite detailed artwork, the ancient artists left very few inscriptions or pieces of writing behind unlike at many other rock art locations.
Indeed truly unique and rare camels were carved in the mountain outcrops for centuries venerated as the “ship of the desert “are a familiar motif in artworks from the kingdom. The three dimensional engravings featuring only part of a camel’s body such as the hooves, differ from those discovered at other Saudi sites. Many are perched high on the outcrops and would have required ropes or scaffolding. Moreover, one engraving in specific stands out a camel facing what appears to be a donkey, mule or horse, animals that have rarely been represented in the region’s rock art. The incredible carvings show great skill in their level of naturalism and their sheer size. This discovery may potentially change the understanding of prehistoric population dynamics and cultural traits. However, the site is shrouded in mystery, with little information on who created the carvings or the tools they used. The closest Nabateans tribe known for founding the city of Petra in modern-day Jordan that was carved out of sandstone desert cliffs. In one rock panel there is a camel lying on the ground with its head tilted toward a donkey that is on its feet. The two are nearly touching.
The discovery has shone a spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s rich bedouin heritage. The kingdom is endowed with thousands of examples of painted rock art and ancient inscriptions. This discovery will show variety and richness of the Saudi Arabian past have different styles, which suggests there was more than one artist behind them. Archaeologists say, it is possible, that the Al-Jouf site was one of veneration or on a caravan route used as a resting place or boundary marker. The site is an emblematic place on the regional and caravan routes towards Mesopotamia.  Thus, further fieldwork is now required to find the answers. Many of the eroded sculptures are hard to date, but archaeologists estimate they were possibly completed in the first centuries BC or AD. If they pre-date the domestication of the camel, then they represent wild specimens who may have been hunted, and a successful hunt may have been vital for the survival of the local human populations. Also visible alongside the engravings were painted art forms, which showed human and mythological beings and an object that appeared to look like a chariot.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Ancient Bristlecone Pines of the Great Basin

At high elevations in a region of the western United States recognized as the Great Basin. Here is a species of pine lives a quiet, isolated, and exceptionally long life. Bristlecone pines are famous for attaining great ages, have been found that have lived more than 5,000 years longer than any other non-clonal organism. Bristlecone pines are small to medium-sized windblown trees ranging from about 5 to 16 meters (15 to 50 feet) in height Bristlecone pines grow in isolated groves just below the tree line; grow in soils that are shallow lithosols, usually derived from dolomite and sometimes limestone, and sporadically sandstone or quartzite soils. Dolomite soils are alkaline, high in calcium and magnesium, and low in phosphorus.

The trees are extremely hardy, surviving in harsh freezing cold temperatures, being buried in snow, and restorative powerful winds. However, in several cases, portions of the tree can die-off and allow the tree to preserve its limited resources. Hence, Bristlecones aren’t very tall and every so often appear dead or very weathered. Few other plants can grow in the hard rock that Bristlecones prefer, and often the oldest trees are those that live in the most exposed and precarious places. Further, the Rocky Mountain population is sternly threatened by an introduced fungal disease recognized as white pine blister rust, and by pine beetles. The bark of the Great Basin bristlecone pine is characteristically orange-yellow to light brown, whereas that of the Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine is typically gray-brown. The female cones are ovoid in shape and deep purple when young; they mature to a pale brown and bear a characteristic bristle on each scale.

Although, one thing they can’t last is chainsaws. In what is now the Great Basin National Park of eastern Nevada, a tree known as “Prometheus” was being studied by a group of ecologists. Experts drill cores out of trees in order to count and measure the rings that chronicle their growth. Thus, much about the tree’s life and the ecological conditions in the area can be derived from these samples. Unluckily, when Prometheus was drilled for a core, the tool used for this process broke off inside. The investigator needed his tool back and to get it, he had to cut the tree down. Once he’d retrieved his tool and the core from Prometheus, he was able to define that the tree had lived 4,862 years longer than any other single living organism.

Moreover, an older tree hasn’t been found since, though one recognized as Methuselah is believed to be about 4,850 years old and its specific location is also being kept secret. Most of the living groves of these trees are under better protection now and can be visited in numerous locations throughout the Great Basin and in California. The other two species, Pinus balfouriana and Pinus aristata are also long-lived; specimens of both have been measured or estimated to be up to 3,000 years old. The study of the wood of these ancient trees has revealed environmental conditions stretching back to almost 9,000 years ago.