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Al Naslaa Rock Formation: The Huge Rock In Saudi Arabia That Baffles The Internet

Did aliens visit Saudi Arabia thousands of years ago?

It is a question that has been thrown by a mysterious, gigantic rock there, which appears to have been cut in half by a laser beam.

One geologist says the split could have been caused by “freeze-thaw” weather, but others say the split is too precise and smooth to have natural causes.

The Al Naslaa rock formation, pictured, has become a popular tourist attraction thanks to its unusual split

The Al Naslaa rock formation, pictured, has become a popular tourist attraction thanks to its unusual split

The puzzling sandstone rock, the Al Naslaa rock formation, sits in the arid Tayma oasis of Saudi Arabia and unsurprisingly has become a popular photo opportunity as well as being a hot topic of discussion on the internet.

It is approximately 30 feet (9 m) high and 25 feet (7.6 m) wide, and has been adorned with a petroglyph, a rock carving made with a chisel and hammer stone, of what appears to be a man and a horse.

However, it was the defining feature of the rock formation, its split, that has sparked fierce debate.

Upon Reddit, one user, ‘El_Man_Siniestro’, said: ‘I’m not saying they were aliens, but aliens.’

“Definitely aliens,” agreed another, named Mrkim420.

One user speculated that the split was created when an alien poked “with a super laser pointer on some random planet his species found and accidentally cut a rock in half.”

A second theory suggests that ancient civilizations were more advanced than previously thought. One Youtube The video speculates that the training is evidence of early ‘high-tech’.

Along the same lines, the user Ricopantalones wrote in the online forum: ‘Why do we attribute aliens? There are mountains of evidence that ancient state technology was at a significantly advanced level from where we thought it was. We are not in the first upward curve of technology in society. We are more likely to do it in the second.

Another compared the formation to the pyramids of ancient Egypt, which were built about 4,500 years ago. User NicholasPileggi claimed that the division was carved “in the same way that they cut the blocks for the pyramids: a rope and sand.”

User Borg2 theorized that the indentation was made by someone with ‘a saw and a lot of patience’. Some Star Wars references were also added to the mix, and one Reddit user wondered if the stone was cut in two by “ someone testing a lightsaber. ”

Bringing these theories down to earth, geologist Cherry Lewis tells MailOnline Travel that the split may simply be Mother Nature’s doing.

Geologist Cherry Lewis says the smooth front surface of the rock formation may have been created by a 'sandblasting effect'

Geologist Cherry Lewis says the smooth front surface of the rock formation may have been created by a 'sandblasting effect'

Geologist Cherry Lewis says the smooth front surface of the rock formation may have been created by a ‘sandblasting effect’

Lewis, who is an honorary researcher at the University of Bristol, describes the unusual formation as a “remarkable sight.” She says, ‘It’s [the split] it could have formed due to a process called “freeze-thaw” erosion, which occurs when water enters a small crack in the rock. As temperatures drop, the water freezes and expands, causing the crack to widen and lengthen.

“As the ice melts, the water moves further and further into the rift. The process repeats for thousands, or even millions, of years until the rock finally splits. This process, coupled with wind erosion, which, in a desert environment, is like sandblasting, could also explain why the rock stands on its own in that way. ”

Lewis says that the “sandblasting effect could also have created the smooth front surface if it faced the prevailing wind.”

Given that past civilizations created Stone Henge and sculptures on Easter Island with the most basic tools, it doesn’t seem far-fetched that it could be man-made.

Geologist Cherry Lewis

While weathering and erosion could be to blame, Lewis agrees that there may be some truth to the theory that humans carefully cut the rock. She says: “Since the past civilizations created Stone Henge and the sculptures on Easter Island with the most basic tools, it doesn’t seem far-fetched that it could be man-made.”

Your verdict? “At first glance, the crack looks man-made, as does the very smooth front surface, but I see a photo that shows a parallel crack at the back, so it’s possibly natural.”

Geologist and geophysicist Professor Tim Reston of the University of Birmingham He also shared his thoughts on the strange formation.

He tells MailOnline Travel that the split is’ probably a joint, which is a natural fracture in the rock typically caused by pressure release and expansion, formed when the rock layer was more continuous and is now exposed by erosion. from the surroundings’.

Reston adds: ‘Yes [it is] a joint could have beautiful ‘feathery’ structures on either side of the crack, they look like feathers, unless they have been widened by wind erosion. ‘

The rock formation is an eight hour drive from Riyadh and is accessible by car. Archaeological excavations in the area have uncovered flint dating back to the fourth millennium BC. Rich in history, Tayma was the residence of the Babylonian king Nabonidus in the mid-6th century BC. The oasis, which was on the trade route from present-day Medina to al-Jawf, later became a popular place for merchants.

Charles M. Doughty mapped the stretch of desert in 1877; he described his visit to the Tayma oasis in his 1888 book Travels In Arabia Desert. Later, the area attracted the French explorer Charles Huber, who visited the site in 1883.

Cherry Lewis is the author of The enlightened Mr. Parkinson and The dating game: a man’s search for the age of the Earth.

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