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Sometimes Earth looks like a whole 'nother planet.
Utah’s Paiute Indians call them Legend People, humans stuck forever in rock form. To the Blackfoot and Cree in Alberta, Canada, they’re stone giants that come to life after darkness falls. Around the globe, wind, water, and sand have sculpted these alien worlds made of stone.
Bryce Canyon National Park
One of the most spectacularly bizarre landscapes in the world, Bryce Canyon National Park has been slowly carved from the limestone Paunsaugunt Plateau by winter ice and spring thaws for millions of years. The Paiute Indians, who seasonally hunted and gathered in the Canyon, call its spire-shaped rock formations “Legend People” — humans punished by Coyote and turned forever into stone. The best views of Bryce’s formations can be seen from several look-out spots on the Park’s main road, but to experience the Canyon without the crowds, try a hike on the 8-mile Fairyland Loop.
WHERE: New Zealand
So taken with the eerie beauty at Castle Hill during his 2002 visit to New Zealand’s south island, the Dalai Lama declared this spot a “spiritual center of the universe.” Named for their resemblance to a crumbling stone fortress, these monolithic limestone outcroppings erupt from a bucolic landscape of grazing sheep. Located less than two hours west of Christchurch— whose historic stone church’s facade was procured from Castle Hill―this unusual corner of the world is a favorite bouldering spot for rock climbers.
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