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Wondrous Crossings: Zhangye, the Mountainous Chain of Exuberant Colors


The whimsical relief of the Zhangye zone in China can boast about its colourful lined patterns that change to match the weather.

In the Gansu province in China, the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park is found, where an unusual and steep mountainous relief, spreading over an area of 300 square kilometres. The series of mountains, formed some 24 million years ago, presents the viewer with a dreamy particularity: it is garnished with natural exotic colours, which change with every passing season.

This natural spectacle which is triggered by polychromatic fringes over mountains is one of a kind, a possessor of incomparable beauty. The natural pigmentation was caused different minerals over thousands of years. The surfaces in this place, visually dramatic, were produced by a clash between the Indo-Australian and Eurasian plates millions of years ago.

Zhangye is constituted by sharp peaks and suggestive caves. The area is found neighbouring the Gobi desert, which is why its flora and fauna is rare and scarce —which gives it a “last corner of the Earth” feeling, making the notion of magnanimity even deeper for those who are fortunate enough to visit it.

The full name of this area is Zhangye Danxi, which is the second term used in China to refer to that precise colourful effect in the mountains. This place offers a suspiciously perfect artistic image and atmosphere, which appears to be created by an explicit intention with the sole purpose of creating such an exquisite combination.

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