Devils Marbles. Australia
These large granite boulders are called Devils Marbles. The unusual set of stones covers a small valley 100 kilometers south of Tennant Creek in the Northern Australia (its total area is 18 square kilometers). The local natives Warumungu call them Karlu Karlu. Such double name was chosen deliberately. It sounds the same in four local languages, reflecting the importance and antiquity of the object. The name can be literally translated as “round boulders”. This is one of the most striking sights of the uninhabited territories of Australia.
These granite rocks were formed by the action of erosion about a million years ago. Here you can find stones with a diameter from 50 centimeters to six meters. They are scattered throughout the valley in a free manner. Some stones are surprisingly balanced on each other, and looking at them, you wonder – why don’t they fall? It’s hard to realize that it was created by the very nature.
This happened when the lava has leaked through the cracks in the ground and covered a top layer of soil. Later, tectonic processes made the granite split into the blocks of different sizes. Then, water and wind began to attach stones the original form, gradually rounding the edges and turning them into smooth boulders for thousands of years.
Arid climate of this area is characterized by the sharp changes in temperature of day and night. Sometimes the difference can be several tens of degrees. This fact has tremendous pressure on the stones, forcing them to repeatedly expand and contract. Some stones split in two eventually.
This is a very important place for indigenous inhabitants. Devils Marbles are even protected by the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act. The local mythology says that these stones are eggs of Rainbow Snake and they are associated with different legends and traditions. According to one of the legends, Devil once passed through this area, and scattered these red boulders over a vast territory. Aborigines still believe in it and think that Devil lives not far from the valley, and even controls his stones.
The reserve in Karlu Karlu was founded in 1961. It belongs to four local tribes: the Warumungu, Kaytetye, Alyawarra and Warlpiri people. October 28, 2008 the territory was returned to the Aborigines. They consider Karlu Karlu to be a sacred place. Any stranger being on territory should behave the same as if entered into the temple of any other religious confession.
Currently the reserve is rented from indigenous Australians for a period of 99 years. It is under the joint authority of Aboriginal and the organization “Rangers”. If you like unforgettable adventures, you can visit the valley of mystical stones and walk along the proposed tourist trails.