The strange case of the Egyptian black desert – Prensa Latina
However, traveling through the Egyptian black desert totally changes such a repeated image and takes us to an incredible landscape where dark nuances prevail in a play of visual contrasts.
The Perseverance probe captured something similar upon landing on Mars: a vast area with hills and unusual mold scattered over sandy plains like archipelagos in the ocean, except this time the red is not the dominant color, but orange, brown and, to the visitor’s surprise, black.
It is one of the natural parks that make up the Saharan space in Egypt, which can be reached in a four to five hour journey from Cairo and which, despite its remoteness and isolation, is the threshold for much desired trips. to other worlds and a treat for geology lovers.
Located between Bahariya Oasis and Farafra Falls, some 400 kilometers southwest of the capital, the eerie site includes hills, table mountains and rock structures that constant wind erosion covers with a dark layer of dolerite – also called black granite – and iron quartzite. , giving them that mysterious and fascinating look that can only be found in volcanoes. It is precisely in this eruptive event and the subsequent cycles of changes in the terrestrial cortex that we can find the explanation for such a strange case, which is not foreign to the evolution of Mars itself and of other planets in the solar system.
According to experts, some 180 million years ago – at the beginning of the Jurassic – the region was under the sea, but the intense volcanic activity that affected the entire planet changed its geology, lifting up oceanic lands, of where peaks, summits and mounts gradually emerged, leading to the formation of basalt rocks.
During this process, what was later known as Al Marsous Mountain, a magnificent crater covered with volcanic veined marble, the layers of which fill the time-marked ripples in its old rocks.
Around this time, the English Mountain, the highest peak in the Black Desert, was also emerging, providing a spectacle perhaps more impressive than that seen from the plain and allowing the traveler to take photos of not only the alien scene, but also from the white desert. , another important national park that stretches south of the oasis of Farafra.
A curious detail, these raw sites contain fossils of trees and forests, trustworthy witnesses of greener times and times as glorious as that of the Egyptian pyramids, but which, rather than being a human work, s ‘fit into the constant and random flow of nature.
According to Scientific American magazine, two decades ago, American paleontologists who worked on the desert borders found remains of the Paralititanstromeri dinosaur, one of the largest dinosaurs found so far, which apparently lived in the Cretaceous Period. almost 90 million years ago.
In 2010, the Egyptian Black Desert was declared a nature reserve, an action to protect its rare but interesting biodiversity, as well as to preserve the site’s unique rock structures.
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