Mom, I want to be a geologist!

The emotions evoked from a short walk through the rocky area surrounding the Namibian town of Luderitz can be summed up rather succinctly. In fact, one word would suffice. Or maybe one or two more. Unfortunately, they’re all expletives.

But they’re just rocks, I hear you say. OK, let me try and share my impressions in a slightly differently way – like this ->

They’re not just rocks. This is a real mix, a hodgepodge of all kinds of rock forms. It’s as though someone threw heaps of different kinds of stones into a giant “stone mixer” and heated it up on one side. And it turned out something like this. Over a huge area:

Sedimentary rock layers, next to basalt outcrops, in a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes…

Yes, this is definitely the result of a tectonic fault when the lithospheric plate of the ancient Gondwana mainland broke into several smaller continents. This is where South America separated from Africa. Hot lava flowed from the rift, everything was churned up, partially melted, then, for 100 million years (that’s how long ago America and Africa went their separate ways) these stones were polished by the wind and sand. But they don’t seem to have ever been submerged by water. And this is the result ->

It was all a bit confusing. I didn’t know if I should feel happy or horrified? Is it beautiful or ugly? It’s most definitely out of the ordinary. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Some of the stones look as though someone was making dishes out of the rocks here on purpose.

The wind and rain has carved out patterns like these:

A really strange place!

Stones crunch like glass in some places. And they really look like threads of glass. And there are basalt (or granite?) structures nearby. It feels like you’re walking around a granite glass factory.

I mean, how does something like that happen?

Anyway, here’s some abstract stone surrealism. This is a very, very strange place. But you can walk around and gaze in wonder for ages.

The rest of the Namibia photos are here.

Leave a note