Yunnan Stone Forest Shilin in China Facts

Stone Forest is made up of pointed rocks, which are literally razor-sharp, and that the reason why this unusual landscapes has many fewer visits than other national parks in the world.

Many rhododendrons and camellias grow wild in the subtropical climate in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. This province is located in a mountainous area, with the highest peaks in the northwest and lower regions in the southeast. The difference in height between mountain peaks and river valleys goes up to 3000 meters.

The oldest species of Homo erectus, known as Yuanmou Man, is found in Yunnan in the 1960s. In the Neolithic Age, there were settlements in the area of Lake Dian, whose inhabitants used stone tools and making simple wooden dwellings.

The provincial capital, Kun Ming, known as the city of eternal spring, and the whole area is a treasury of plants and trees.

Where is the Yunnan Stone Forest located?

However, the forest which is located on a plateau 120 kilometers southeast of Kun Ming is not known for its trees but the limestone pillars of unusual shapes created by weather and natural conditions. Yunnan Stone Forest or Shilin on Chinese, covers an area of 5 square kilometers, and it is the countless stone columns of which are about 2 meters high, and others even 30 meters. Some look like a stalk of bamboo, some as large swords, while others resemble animals, large mushrooms or pagodas.

Rocks and stones Stone forest water in forest Yunnan stone forest Yunnan stone towers

The beauty and elegance of carved stone pillars in the stone forest has inspired a large number of Chinese poets, and many generations have been inspired by the desire to describe them, as well as reveal their names, “Phoenix who trimmed his feathers”, “Stepped waterfall”, “Lion resting”, “Elephant” (on first image above), “Top of the lotus flower”…

In some groups there are hundreds of pillars, while others are relatively lonely. In the dark alleys between the pillars has a swimming pool, caves and winding paths under vegetation. Many of the walls are covered with lichen and moss, and despite the lack of land and a limited amount of daylight in the denser parts of the forest, some creepers here perfect grows, holding on to the cliff, and their red and pink flowers make this unusual sight even more flowery.

How was Yunnan stone forest formed?

Millions of years ago this fantastic forest looked like a compact mass of limestone. The movements in the Earth’s crust are elevated and shaped sloping grounds, and on limestone have created numerous vertical cracks. Rainwater and water from the soil, due to the lush vegetation saturated with carbon dioxide, turned into a mild acid that very effectively dissolves limestone, so the cracks quickly spread.

The initial layer of limestone today almost no in the middle of the forest Stone because it is melted by acid, and what was left standing in the form of sharp carved stone towers.

Read also Mount Mazama Crater Lake and Pink Lake Hillier

Facts about Yunnan Stone Forest

No.1 – average height of stone towers is 2 meters

No.2 – surface of Stone forest is 500 km2 (190 sq mi)

No.3 – by legend it is birthplace of Ashima girl of the Yi people

No.4 – before 270 million years it was a shallow sea

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