Devils Tower National Monumentk

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Devils Tower National Monument is a United States National Monument that is located in Crook County in Northeast Wyoming. The Monument was established as the first national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 through his use of the Antiquities Act.

Devils Tower National Monument, USA
Devils Tower National Monument, USA

The Monument is the core of an ancient volcano; the surrounding softer rock has over time been eroded to reveal cooled magma hardened into igneous rock, appearing as fluted shafts and columns rising over 500 feet in the air. The monolithic tower rises above the Belle Fourche River at the edge of the Black Hills region, known in this section as the Bear Lodge Mountains.

Devils Tower National Monument, USA
Devils Tower National Monument, USA

The one obvious contrast in landscape here is jarringly weird, and indeed the main attraction! Devils Tower is one of the world's most striking natural monoliths in no small part for its sheer, vertical form, and its dramatic contrast with the rolling prairie extending in all directions for seemingly endless distances.

Devils Tower National Monument, USA
Devils Tower National Monument, USA

The tower itself is the eroded remnant of a giant laccolith - an igneous intrusion produced by rising molten magma exploiting a weak point in the existing sedimentary rock layers about 65 million years ago. Over the epochs since, the softer sandstones and shales that covered and surrounded the intrusion (which had pushed them up), leaving us with this alien-attracting, arrestive tower.

Devils Tower National Monument, USA
Devils Tower National Monument, USA

You might notice that the forest rolling along the hills is a little repetitive. The lack of diversity was caused by fire suppression by ranchers, settlers, and actually the U.S. Forest and Park Services, as a means of avoiding fires spreading to settled areas and the burning down of the valuable and beautiful forests. But without the natural cycle renewal caused by (natural) forest fires, the Ponderosa pine has taken over, depriving any smaller ground plants from getting needed sunlight.

Devils Tower National Monument, USA
Devils Tower National Monument, USA

According to the Native American tribes of the Kiowa and Lakota, some girls went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. In an effort to escape the bears, the girls climbed atop a rock, fell to their knees, and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground towards the heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. The bears, in an effort to climb the rock, left deep claw marks in the sides, which had become too steep to climb.

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