Explaining the strange straight cut of the 4,000-year-old rock

SAUDI ARABIAAl Naslaa is a massive solid rock that looks as if it was cut in half by a laser weapon. This is a great example of the forces of nature.

Al Naslaa Rock in 2021. Photo: Wikimedia

In fact, researchers believe that the Al Naslaa rock was formed entirely by nature, according to IFL Science. The 6m high rock rests on two natural pedestals, making them appear as if they are floating in perfect balance with each other. It is difficult to imagine that the Al Naslaa rock was born by accident, but most scientific theories explaining its existence focus on the weathering process.

Located in the Tayma Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, the Al Naslaa rock is an example of some of the most beautiful stone carving in the world. Symbolic images of Arab horses, Alpine goats and humans appear all over the surface of the megalith. Researchers still don't know exactly when the engravings were created, but Al Naslaa dates back more than 4,000 years.

There are several theories surrounding the cut right in the middle of the Al Naslaa rock. One theory is that the rock lies above the fault line and that the cut was initially created by the ground beneath the rock shifting, causing it to split in two at its weakest point. The crack resulting from this activity then becomes a sort of "tunnel" Let the desert sand wind sweep across the surface. As sand particles pass through the gap over thousands of years, they can wear away the uneven crack, resulting in a perfectly smooth surface.

Researchers do not rule out the possibility that the crack is a fissure, meaning that the break formed naturally in the rock and was not caused by movement. This type of rift separates the rocks and can be unusually straight as in the case of Al Naslaa.

Another theory is that weathering according to the freeze-thaw cycle created cracks when water in ancient times seeped into small cracks in the sandstone that was still together at that time. This water can then freeze, making the crack even more serious. After the cold period ends, the ice in the crack thaws and melts, leaving a perfectly straight gap dividing the rock in two.

As for the base the rock sits on, they are quite common in desert areas, sometimes called mushroom rocks based on their shape. They often result from weathering due to faster winds near the ground, more abrasion of rocks there, or glacial action as rocks move to balance on top of other rocks.

Due to the nature of sandstone, Al Naslaa rock is not too strong, so it is affected by weathering and human impact. It is possible that ancient civilizations created the strange rock sculpture as a geographical landmark, area of ​​religious significance or example of early art.

This year 131 international organizations, from 73 countries, partnered with the PRA in Washington, D.C., and its Hernando De Soto Fellow Prof. Sary Levy-Carciente to produce the 17th edition of the IPRI..
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