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Strange and Beautiful Landscapes of North America


By - Posted on 16 July 2010

With deserts, glaciers and volcanoes, the United States and Canada are home to a vast diversity of terrain. Here are some dramatic photos of their unusual and beautiful landscapes.

Sliding Rock, Death Valley Nevada USA

Sliding Rock, Death Valley Nevada USA
Photo of Sliding Rock, Death Valley Nevada USA © Jim Gordon

The sliding rocks of Death Valley are a mysterious geological phenomenon. No one knows for sure how these rocks move, although there are quite a few theories. The most popular theory is that they are moved by the strong sustained winds that blow across the valley. Although the area only gets a few inches of rain a year, when it is wet, the surface of the valley turns into a slick mud. Once the rocks are in motion, the winds may help to propel them along.

Lake Peyto, Banff National Park Canada

Storm Over Lake Peyto, Banff National Park Canada
Photo of a Storm Over Lake Peyto, Banff National Park Canada © ahisgett

Lake Peyto is a glacier fed lake in the Canadian Rockies. Pieces of the glacier break off in warmer months which give the lake a glowing blue color.

Antelope Canyon, Utah USA

Photo of Antelope Canyon, Utah USA
Photo of Antelope Canyon, Utah USA © tibchris

The breathtaking colors and lines of Antelope Canyon make it one of the most photographed slot canyons in the American Southwest. The narrow curves of the sandstone canyons were created by wind and water erosion.

Bristlecone Pine, Nevada USA

Bristlecone Pine, Nevada USA
Photo of Bristlecone Pine, Nevada USA © Zest-pk

The bristlecone pine is the oldest known tree species in the world. The oldest bristlecone is nearly 5000 years old, making it 300 years old when the Egyptian Pyramids were being built.

Sawyer Glacier, Alaska USA

Sawyer Glacier, Alaska USA
Photo of Sawyer Glacier, Alaska USA © a.dombrowski

Sawyer Glacier is located at the end of Tracy Arm Fjord, south of Juneau Alaska. It is a dramatic landscape with granite walls up to 2000 feet tall that create narrow passages and interesting rock formations.

Geyser, Yellowstone National Park USA

Geyser, Yellowstone National Park USA
Photo of Geyser, Yellowstone National Park USA © jurek d.

Yellowstone National Park is home to most of the world's geysers. Bacteria and algae as well as different temperatures cause the water to turn a range of brilliant colors.

Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i USA

Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii USA
Photo of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i USA © Image Editor

Kilauea Volcano is located in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Kilauea erupted in 1983 and has been spewing lava ever since. Because of this it has been called the most active volcano in the world.

Northern Lights, Banff Canada

Northern Lights, Banff Canada
Photo of Northern Lights, Banff Canada © Satoru Kikuchi

The northern lights, also known as aurora borealis, are spectacular natural light shows that dance across the sky. They are most visible near the North pole due to its magnetic field. It's counterpart, aurora australis, can also been seen in the South Pole (the southern lights).

Monument Valley, Arizona USA

Monument Valley, Arizona USA
Photo of Monument Valley, Arizona USA © jimbowen0306

Monument Valley is spectacularly beautiful and lonely area of the American Southwest. Monument Valley is marked by lone mesas and buttes up to 1000 feet tall surrounded by sand, scrub brush and trees. Its deep red color comes from the iron oxide in the siltstone.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico USA

Stalagmites, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico USA
Photo of Stalagmites, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico USA © limusus

The Carlsbad Caverns are a strange and eerie world with stalagmites, stalactite, mirror lake and the bottomless pit. Stalagmites are found in limestone caves and are upward growing cave formations created by minerals deposited by dripping water. These stalagmites are located in the Carlsbad Cavern's Big Room, the seventh largest chamber of its kind in the world.

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