Rainbow Rocks – Danxia, China

danxia-chinaThere’s no need to roll out the red carpet at Danxia in China’s Gansu Province. The jaw-dropping rocky landscape is naturally red from a build up of sandstone over many millions of years, while the rainbow effect comes from colourful mineral deposits.

The name Danxia means “rosy clouds” in Chinese. Covering 400 sq km (154 sq miles), Danxia’s rock formations have eroded naturally by wind and rain. This has created today’s steep cliffs, solitary peaks, and textured layers. Danxia is the generic term for red sandstone landforms, but kaleidoscopic streaks of yellow, green, and blue from various mineral deposits add to the palette.

Danxia’s crumpled landscape comes from movement in Earth’s crust, combined with wind and rain carving out ravines and pillars in the soft rock.