The Stone Forest in China is made up of tall stone formations that together create the appearance of a forest with rock pillars instead of trees.
Why Is It Famous?
The gathering of so many stone pillars of such height is unusual, attracting attention from geologists and tourists alike.
The Stone Forest is around 50 miles away from Kunming, which is the Yunnan Province capital. The entire area of the Stone Forest covers 100,000 acres or so, including karst, waterfalls, and caves.
The Stone Forest’s history began 270 million years ago in an area that was then a shallow sea. Limestone and sandstone accumulated in the basin of the sea before being pushed into the air. Once above water, water and wind shaped the pillars to create the formation that is recognizable today.
The presence of karst is part of what makes the Stone Forest so appealing. This landscape includes dolomite, gypsum, and limestone dissolved in soluble rocks. The landmark has unique karst features that you can only find within this part of the world thanks to its size and diversity.
The Subterranean Stone Forest inside the Zhiyun Cave in the Stone Forest covers 720 acres and is spread throughout several caves. There is also an underground river and a karst lake. Called Long Lake, it spans three kilometers in length and 300 meters in width. Long Lake has a small island in the center as well as underwater stalactite and stalagmites.
Events in Time
According to Chinese legend, one of the stones in the forest honors Ashima. She was a beautiful woman who had to marry someone she did not love, and while being rescued by Ahei, a flood drowned her. There is an annual Torch Festival to remember her.
The Stone Forest is the result of 270 million years of sediment accumulation and erosion, and a focal point for unique karst formations.