The Richat Structure, a porthole in the Sahara desert

Structure of Richat Mauritania
At this point it seems impossible that the Mother Nature It continues to surprise us, and yet, sometimes it is capable of leaving us open-mouthed. During the last weeks we have shown you many examples of the incredible natural wonders that we can find throughout the planet (the Celeste River of Costa Rica, the Bamboo Forest of Kyoto, the tree cemetery of Namibia ...), but still We have many other extraordinary places to show you.

Today, for example, we travel to Africa to tell you about an impressive natural formation. We refer to the Richat structure, a place also known as Eye of the Sahara. Do you want to discover more details about this natural African corner? Well, do not miss anything we tell you below!

A reference point for astronauts

Located in the Sahara desert, in Mauritania, the Richat Structure is, in fact, a most peculiar geographical feature that caught our attention when the first missions took place space. Until then, nobody had realized that this place has the shape of a porthole, since it can only be seen from the sky, which reminds us of the Nasca Lines. Of course, there is a big difference: while these enigmatic lines can be perfectly appreciated from an airplane, to see the Richat Structure in its fullness it is necessary to contemplate them from space. Discovered in the summer of 1965 by two astronauts who were carrying out a space mission, it is characterized by having a diameter of 50 kilometers formed by spiral lines. Without a doubt, its size is enormous. This is why astronauts use the Eye of Sahara as a reference point in their missions.


Structure of Richat Mauritania1

The origin

Despite the fact that almost 50 years have passed since its discovery, the origin of the Richat Structure is not entirely clear. Many voices point out that this enormous geographical accident was caused by the impact of a meteorite, which would explain its circular shape. However, most studies claim that it is an anticline dome that was eroded for millions of years until the core was exposed. In fact, it seems that the center is made up of proterozoic and ordovician rocks, that is, from many millions of years ago. Of course, as has happened with many other natural formations in other areas of the planet, there have also been many who have claimed that aliens have had something to do with it.

Structure of Richat Mauritania2

An images worth looking at

Although really beautiful images of the Eye of the Sahara can be obtained from space, the truth is that going to this corner of Africa is not worth much, since it is far from being a tourist place. Instead, looking at the images is recommended. And it is surprising to see how in the almost perfect uniformity of the largest desert on the planet you can find an impressive figure full of circumferences located in order. Of course, you should keep in mind that, although, you see different colors in the photographs, this does not mean that the Richat Structure is changing shades. Actually, this difference in the color of the images has to do with the time of day or the season of the year in which they were taken. In addition, many photographs are modified for scientific purposes or simply for aesthetic purposes. Then we leave you with our Gallery, where you will find more images of the so-called Eye of the Sahara.

Weird Places: Mauritania's Eye of the Sahara (May 2021)


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