Devils Tower National Monument
This outstanding rock with a mystical name “Devils Tower” is located in the northeast of Wyoming (USA). Its height is 386 m. For comparison – the height of the Empire State Building accounts 381 meters without the spire.
The rock was formed about 65 million years ago by volcanic activity, and unusual figured sides became a result of the erosion of the surrounding soft rocks around the strong internal.
Such name certainly suggests various legends associated with the origin of this mountain. They say that such an unusual name was coined by the white colonists who settled in these places and had heard a lot of the Indian legends about this natural wonder.
In the language of Lakota tribe the monument is called Mato Tipila, which means Bear’s House or Bear’s Lair. The Indians say that once seven beautiful girls were playing in the woods and saw a huge bear. While running away from a huge bear, they have risen on top of the mountain. They were very afraid and prayed for the salvation to the Great Spirit. The Spirit heard them, and the stone began to grow gradually, so the girls lifted higher and higher over the enraged beast. The bear wanted to get girls and tried to climb up the mountain. Thus, the terrible beast left deep traces of his claws on the slopes of the rock. The mountain continued to grow until the girls were able to go to the sky, where they became stars Pleiades.
Another legend says that the tower got its mystical name because of the evil demon who beat the drum on the top to cause thunder.
In the 20th century, new versions of the origin of the rock became popular – science fiction. Thus, according to one version, the top of Devils Tower is a platform for UFO landings. This version appeared due to the fact that strange light phenomena were repeatedly noticed on top of the rock, and unidentified flying objects in its surroundings.
The current name of the rock was given by mistake. In 1875, during an expedition led by the colonel Richard Dodge, an interpreter translated the words of the Indians in the wrong way. Thus, the monument was named “The house of Bad God” at first, and later – “Devils Tower”. In 2005, several Indian tribes proposed to rename the monolith to the Bear Lodge, but their proposal was rejected.
The Indians still cherish the holy mountain and are at suit with the government in order to restrict access for the tourists. The mountain really looks quite mysterious, as it is located on a plateau, sharply standing out from the surrounding landscape, and not having anything resembling nearby.
Today, the tower is very popular among alpinists and rock climbers. A large number of routes have been laid to top of the tower. The structure of the rock is very unusual, and the climbing technique also requires additional skills.
Devils Tower became a United States National Monument on September 24, 1906.