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Ayers Rock

Also known as: Uluru
Type: Natural Architecture
Maximum Height: 1,142 feet / 348 meters
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
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C onsidered the world's largest monolith, Ayers Rock stands as a beacon in the flat, arid land that is the Amadeus Basin. As much a landmass as a landmark, the rock is 2.2 miles long and 1.5 miles wide and made of sandstone infused with minerals like feldspar (Arkosic sandstone) that help it give off a red glow at sunrise and sunset. The exact color changes as the sun moves over the 348-meter-tall rock. The rock gets it rust color because it is actually rusting. The iron in the arkose is oxidizing. The redder the rock, the longer it has been exposed. The greyer it is, the more sheltered. The aboriginal people of this area call it Uluru. Some say the word means "Great Pebble." Others say it has no meaning at all. Either way, the rock is not a pebble, it is a tor, and one of several in this region of Australia's Northern Territory. There are a number of caves in the rock which are sacred to the Anangu people. They have decorated the caves with carvings and paintings.

  • 1872 - Ernest Giles becomes the first European to find Ayers Rock.
  • 1878 - William Gosse names the rock after former South Australian premier Sir Henry Ayers.
  • 1958 - Ayers Rock-Mount Olga National Park formed. It is now called Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
  • 1985 - Ownership of Ayers Rock turned over to the Aborigines who leased it back to the National Park for 99 years.
  • 20 September, 2001 - The rock is closed to tourists for two days. It was closed by aborigines after the death of a tribal elder. The rock is sacred to them and they feel it is not appropriate to have people climbing all over the rock while the tribe is in mourning.

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chia zhong jie
Wednesday, September 28th, 2005 @ 4:11am
Rating: One star.
very good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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