Geology is capricious and more diverse than it may appear at first glance. An example of this are the fairy chimneys, also known as hoodoo, demoiselle coiffée or pyramids.
These are rock formations that stand tall as if they were New York skyscrapers. Stone towers chiseled by wind, rain and ice that can exceed 40 meters in height and whose fantasy shapes remind us of other worlds that can actually also be observed in ours. These types of rock columns are not exclusive to a single area of the planet. They can be seen in different places. We show you where!
Cappadocia is one of the most special places that exists in Turkey. Nature and history mix to give the visitor unforgettable moments. One of the secrets that this region keeps are the fairy chimneys that have given rise to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country.
A legend tells that Cappadocia was inhabited by fairies and humans. Mixed unions were prohibited for the good and continuity of both species, a rule that was not always followed. According to this story, once a fairy and a man fell in love so much that they could not give up their feelings. Then, the queen of the fairies made a drastic decision: she transformed the enamorous fairies into pigeons and robbed men of the ability to see them. However, they were able to stay in the care of the birds.
One thing to keep in mind when looking at fairy chimneys in Turkey is that they can be found in arid and dry places like deserts. For this reason, in the Cappadocia region there are spectacular examples of fairy chimneys in particular near Aktepe, located north of Cappadocia. However, you cannot miss the areas of Uçhisa or the Palomar Valley either.
Bryce Canyon National Park (United States)
Located in the southwest of the state of Utah and close to the city of Kanab is the Bryce Canyon National Park, which seems to be taken from a fantasy kingdom. Perhaps nowhere in the world is natural erosion more evident than in this part of the western United States.
Wind, water and ice eroded the heart of the Paunsaugunt plateau to reveal a desert of fairy chimneys or hoodoos. Native Americans believed that fairy chimneys were about ancient beings petrified by the gods.
This resulted in a beautiful amphitheater surrounded by cliffs and stone towers that can be explored on horseback or on foot. At night it is convenient to look at the sky because this is one of the darkest places on the planet where you can see the stars with greater clarity.
In the Ebro Valley there are several fairy chimneys, specifically in a place called A Peña Sola de Collas in the Aragonese region of Cinco Villas. Without leaving the same autonomous community, in Alto Gállego you can also see stone columns in a corner known as Señoritas de Arás as well as in the Campo de Daroca region in Biescas.
Other places in Spain where there are also fairy chimneys is in the Bárdenas Reales desert, in Castildetierra (Navarra).
Although it seems impossible, the south of France still has secrets to discover for travelers. In the Pyrenees-Orientales region, where the city of Perpignan is located, is Les Orgues d'Ille sur Têt, an impressive rock formation overlooking the Canigou mountain that has been sculpted by water and wind along the centuries.
The landscape of Orgues d'Ille sur Têt has stone structures that seem to have been carved by an anonymous sculptor, such as fairy chimneys. It resembles an amphitheater with walls cut into huge columns. The landscape is arid and although the fairy chimneys seem to have been undaunted for years, the truth is that they are more fragile than they appear because rainwater and wind gradually modulate them and transform them into something new.