Stone River. Taganay, Russia
Taganay is a group of mountain ranges in the Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk region, Russia. Its length is 25 km, and the height rises up to 1178 m. Here, between the ridges of Large and Medium Taganay there is the Big Stone River – an amazing and impressive natural formation.
In fact, this wonder of nature is an evenly conglomeration of huge rocky flinders, which stretches for hundreds of meters, and looks very similar to the river. The Big Stone River stretches from north-east to south-west for about 6 km. The width of the river reaches from 20 to 270 m. In average the size of the blocks is 3-4 m³ in volume, but there are much larger specimens – up to 30 m³, and 9-10 tons of weight. Roughly can be said that up to 300 blocks are located on 100 square meters. They lie down not less than for 4.6 m in depth, thus forming 3-4 layers.
The stone River consists mainly of aventurine – a type of quartzite. The clumps of aventurine differ by the colors and patterns of lichen on them. There’s no vegetation other than lichens. Nothing can grow through the stone conglomeration. The only exceptions are rarely detached pines older than a hundred years. Numerous mountain streams are often buried under the “riverbed” of ancient rock flows.
Many people mistakenly call the Stone River “kurumnik“. Although the Kurume (ancient Turkic qorum – stone rivers, stone streams) even today continues to slowly slide down. But this unusual river is almost motionless now because the slope does not exceed 2.5 degrees.
This unique field is a national treasure. Something similar can be found only in India and nowhere else in the world. The origin of such stone rivers is not fully studied, but there are versions that the Big Stone River was formed by a glacier during the descent from the Taganay mountains.
The locals say that winter is the most beautiful time in Taganay, which is also a national park, and the river itself is its pearl. They invite all lovers of tourism to visit this natural wonder. The air is extremely clean! There is a special silence – only the birdsong and the wind, the sun, the scent of fir trees and rain.