We have a thing for strange, beautiful, photogenic, and one-of-a-kind rock formations. Each astounding in their own right, these Mother Nature-crafted wonders, many of them showcased within national or state parks, never fail to thrill and prompt the question: "How in the world did那个happen?"
These, folks, are the rock stars of the geologic world.
除了皮肤比较,艾尔斯巨石or Uluru — dually named in 1985 to honor of mid-19th century South Australian legislator Sir Henry Ayers while also rightfully preserving its official Aboriginal name — is often heralded as Australia's spiritual heart. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Aussie's top rock is a powerful and mysterious place, considered by many to be sacred. And like other sacred places that, for better or worse, double as tourist magnets, Uluru isn't devoid of culturally insensitive activities including one that thousands of thrill-seeking visitors partake in despite pleas not to. The climbing — or, preferably, not climbing — of Uluru is a complex and contentious issue. Seemingly everyone does it — for many, mounting the 700 million-year-old monolith is这个理由参观Uluru Kata Tjuta国家公园— yet the Anangu people have made it clear that they prefer visitors to stay off the designated climbing path for a variety of reasons, both spiritual and practical.
大多数情况下，阿南古人作为土地的守护者，不希望游客在艰难跋涉到山顶时受伤或死亡。”当一个人在我们的土地上死去或受伤时，我们会感到非常悲伤。我们担心你，也担心你的家人，”乌鲁鲁的请勿攀爬标志上写着。尽管澳大利亚法律没有禁止游客攀岩，但尊重土著信仰是阻止许多想成为攀岩者的原因。像北领地首席部长亚当·贾尔斯这样的支持攀岩运动的支持者对此展开了激烈的辩论arguing that banning people from scrambling up the side of Uhuru would harm the local economy。
As those who have made the pilgrimage to County Cork, Ireland's most unhygienic tourist attraction could tell you,在布拉尼石上放一个湿漉漉的吻并不是最随意的仪式性接吻. 事实上，这相当复杂。你看，布拉尼石被安放在中世纪城堡的石柱上，为了完成这项任务——据信这项任务赋予了接吻者口才的天赋——你必须登上城堡的倾斜顶端，穿过一条不稳定的女儿墙走道，然后仰面躺在指定地点。从那里，唇对石接触只能靠向后倾斜在一个绝对下降，而挂在一对熟铁安全杆上的宝贵生命。这几乎和从一个小妖精手里抢一罐金子一样复杂，但不完全是。
至于布拉尼石的细菌满天飞的声誉，城堡主人查尔斯科尔瑟斯特爵士认为这是废话。他told the Irish Times in 2010: "To my knowledge no one has ever caught anything from kissing the stone. I had an esteemed expert clarify that you cannot catch any disease from kissing the stone." Great to know! However, it's still advisable to bring a packet of sanitizing wipes along with those sensible walking shoes.
坎农海滩（Cannon Beach）是一个吸引游客的标志性地标，其中最高的一个（统称为“针”）高达235英尺，是雄伟的整体式干草堆岩石。别跟俄勒冈州的混淆了other大炮海滩海岸沿海沿岸的海水岩石山区，大炮海滩的干草堆摇滚最为闻名于其好莱坞幽灵（“Goonies”，“1941”和“幼儿园警察”只是为了评名为几个）和公众访问。在低潮期间，游客可以乘坐脚踏，探索其潮汐池，这些潮水池是用海星，螃蟹和万花筒品种的跨境的潮气般的生物，海粘土层和银莲花属。各种筑巢海鸟，包括簇绒的海鹦，也以季节性的方式致电Haystack Rock Home。
This all said, with such easy accessibility comes responsibility. As a state-protected marine garden and a national wildlife refuge, Haystack Rock is very much a "look but don't touch" type of place with established protocol that prohibits poking, prodding and prying. Climbing the rock itself is also forbidden and so is leaving with a bucket filled with "souvenirs."
As the old saying goes, the defining geological feature of the diminutive sovereign British territory of the same name, the Rock of Gibraltar — or simply, the Rock — is indeed solid. And dramatic, breathtaking, history-shaping and到处都是淘气的猴子。
About those monkeys. Located in the southernmost reaches of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar's unique, continent-straddling locale — only a narrow strait separates the peninsular territory from Morocco — means that it's home to some unique fauna including, most famously, a colony of 150 or so Barbary macaques. The colony of so-called rock apes, which can mostly be found on the nature reserve-designated upper reaches of the rock itself, is the only population of wild primates on the European continent. Descended from North African Barbary macaques, Gibraltar's Barbary macaques have taken up residence on the rock — the rock, by the way, is a monolithic limestone promontory with an elevation of 1,398 feet — since, well, pretty much forever ... at least long before Gibraltar first came under British control in 1704. Legend has it that if the macaques ever decamp from the rock, than Gibraltar will cease to be British.
This being said, the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society takes great care to ensure that the microchip-embedded monkeys are healthy, happy and well fed. Tourists also supply the pilferage-prone macaques with a steady supply of treats, sometimes inadvertently since the emboldened monkeys are noted for periodically snatching purses and backpacks in search of a quick nibble. The practice of purposely feeding the cheeky little buggers, however, is punishable by law. In recent years,不断制造麻烦的人已被驱逐出直布罗陀-是猴子，不是游客。
当然，除非你在大英博物馆与人群搏斗过，因为根据亚历山大条约，这件珍贵的文物（一块古埃及提取的石碑）第一次从法国手中（1799年拿破仑的军队在罗塞塔市附近出土）移走后，一直是最吸引人的1802熟悉罗塞塔石碑的人都很清楚，它惊天动地的重要性并不源于它上面所刻文字的内容。相反，它是how这个text, a King Ptolemy V-praising decree issued by a council of high priests in 196 B.C., is inscribed that changed history forever. Given that the stone is inscribed with three parallel texts, Greek (governmental), Egyptian Demotic (common) and Egyptian hieroglyphics (sacred), linguists and scholars with a firm knowledge of ancient Greek were at long last able to crack the proverbial code and gain a greater understanding of the eternally baffling Egyptian picture writing system known as hieroglyphics.
While the Rosetta Stone was discovered — and ultimately deciphered — by the French and has been housed in London for the past two centuries, some would argue that this celebrated granite slab qualifies as stolen goods and belongs back in the country where it was plundered from hundreds of years ago.Said Zahi Hawass, a controversial Egyptian archaeologist领导将世界各地博物馆持有的罗塞塔石碑和其他埃及古物移交开罗博物馆的负责人说：“如果英国人想被记住，如果他们想恢复自己的声誉，他们应该自愿归还罗塞塔石碑，因为它是我们埃及身份的象征。”
True, the巨石阵的确切起源和用途仍然是生命中的一大谜团。(天文台?墓地?Neolithic health spa? Alien spacecraft landing pad?) But over the years, determined geologists have been able to pinpoint the source of the stones themselves. However, how these stones wound up at the monument site on the Salisbury Plain is a whole other story. In 2011, following extensive petrographic analysis that took into consideration both the mineral content and the textural relationship between rocks, British geologists concluded that the hefty dolerites, or bluestones, that compose Stonehenge's inner circle were transported, for reasons and by methods unknown, 160 miles away from Craig Rhos-y-felin, a megalith quarry in Pembrokeshire, Wales. "Being able to provenance any archaeologically significant rock so precisely is remarkable,"Rob Ixer of Leicester University explained to the BBC在令人惊讶的发现之后。”然而，鉴于坚持不懈的努力，我们决心要揭开巨石阵青石的大部分（如果不是全部的话）起源，这样考古学家就可以继续他们的推测，一直持续到第三世纪。”
As for the hulking pillars that form the iconic outer ring and inner horseshoe formation at Stonehenge, these are known as sarsens, a type of sandstone block weighing as much as 50 metric tons. The sarsens are widely believed to have made a far less arduous journey than the bluestones, having been hauled by the site's mysterious builders from Marlborough Downs, just 20 miles north of the roughly 5,000-year-old site.
Located just a quick drive outside of Atlanta's city limits, Stone Mountain is a curious quartz monzonite formation that sticks out like the South's most prominent sore thumb.
Billed as the world's largest exposed granite monolith — like Australia's Ulruru, the colossal rock is technically a monadnock or inselberg — Stone Mountain is renowned for both its unique geology and the fact that the world's largest bas-relief sculpture can be found on its north face. Dubbed the Confederate Memorial Carving, this 3-acre, decades-in-the-making relief was started but subsequently abandoned by Gutzon Borglum of Mount Rushmore fame and depicts the horse-bound figures of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. Given the massive relief is a tribute to the Confederacy and the fact that Stone Mountain itself possesses strongly disagreeable chapters in its own more modern history, this broadcast tower-topped monolith has served as a controversy magnet when not serving as a family-friendly tourist destination. Today, the 825-foot-tall rock is the3,200英亩的国有公园的核心拥有里程的自然小径，眩晕的缆车骑，生活历史博物馆等。
2015年10月，石山纪念协会提议为石山加冕。马丁·路德·金（Martin Luther King Jr.）——纪念被称为“自由钟”（Freedom Bell）的自由钟复制品。金在其具有里程碑意义的1963年“我有一个梦想”（I Have a Dream）演讲中引用了石山，这一说法很尖锐，因为这座巨石虽然最近被国家收购，但仍在很大程度上与其之前的三K党支持的所有者有关。得到内森州长的支持，这项建议遭到强烈反对from Confederate heritage-minded preservationists as well as from civil rights groups that would rather just see the likenesses of Davis, Jackson and Lee sandblasted off the face of Stone Mountain once and for all.
Stone of Scone
一块不那么普通的长方形红砂岩板重336磅，烤饼之石-又名命运之石-一直受到神秘，阴谋和一个国家的愤怒1950年抢劫。虽然烤饼石的起源是一个谜，但众所周知，这块石头在9世纪开始的苏格兰君主加冕礼中扮演了不可或缺的角色。1296年，英国国王爱德华一世（King Edward I）强行占有了这件备受尊崇的遗物，作为今天珀斯郡斯科恩修道院（Scone Abbey）的战利品，还是在他入侵前精心设计的复制品？爱德华国王迁往威斯敏斯特大教堂，为加冕石——或者加冕克隆人——配备了装备？-与他同名的木制王座专门用于加冕仪式，最近的是伊丽莎白女王二世。
The Stone of Scone remained at Westminster Abbey until Christmas 1950 when a quartet of Scottish students made off with the relic during the middle of the night. While liberating the coveted hunk o' sandstone from King Edward's Chair, the nationalistic bandits dropped the stone, breaking it into two chunks. When daylight broke and authorities realized the Stone of Scone had been pilfered during a daring heist, the borders between Scotland and England were closed for the first time in over 400 years. The broken stone was eventually ditched and buried in a field in rural England by the students only to be unearthed, mended back together and returned to Westminster Abbey several months later. (还是真的another复制?). 1996年，英国政府将烤饼石或其他东西归还给苏格兰，以防万一。嗯，有点。这个爱丁堡城堡展出的石头遗迹but will return to London when new monarchs are crowned.