'Rainbow Mountains' Of China: What Caused The Amazing Colors of the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park? [VIDEO]

on September 2, 2013 12:12 PM EDT

rainbow mountains
With their vivid bands of color, the "rainbow mountains" of China look like a land formation from another planet. (Photo: Flickr: gudi3101)

The incredibly colorful "rainbow mountains" look like they're from an alien planet, but they actually exist right here on Earth. More precisely, they're part of the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu, China. The rainbow mountains became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.

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The vivid mountains are the result of mineral deposits and red sandstone from over 24 million years ago. Layers formed on top of one another, creating the colorful patterns of rock strata.

Head here for a more images of the colorful mountains, or see the video below. Some online images of the rainbow mountains are obviously the result of color manipulation, so be wary of any pictures of the Chinese mountains which are not just colorful, but absurdly colorful.

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