World’s Strangest

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The Dark Tower: Found!

Link – article by Avi Abrams

The Ultimate Black Obelisk That Nature Has Made (in Sao Tome)

Maybe you’ve read Stephen King’s huge fantasy epic “The Dark Tower”, or perhaps the Tower of Mordor from “The Lord of the Rings” more readily comes to mind? In any case, you’ll be surprised to find the fantastic huge black tower actually exists… on a small island near Africa. More precisely, on the São Tomé island in the Gulf of Guinea. It’s called Pico Cão Grande, or the Great Dog peak.

(image credit: Inna Moody)

This is one of the highest needle-shaped “volcanic plug” peaks on Earth (300 m), perhaps even more impressive than the Devils Tower in Wyoming (386 m), as it rises above the landscape in an equally unexpected and even bluntly obscene way. It will be however more difficult to photograph than Devils Tower: its top is often hidden by clouds or precipitation, not to mention that it’s harder to get to the tiny country of São Tomé and Principe (though I’m sure it’s worth the effort).

The heavy mist and humidity over the surrounding jungle (the rainfall varies between 4500 mm to 5000 mm per year) adds to the mystery and the foreboding feeling of the Great Dog Peak, as its rocky presence rises and darkly glistens in the murk.

(image credit: Antonio Martins & Jose Bazelga, via)

It looks like a giant finger that simply should not be there:

(images via 1, 2, 3)

Fearsome black snakes live on this peak, and approaches to it are filled with impenetrable giant ferns and lianas:

“Dramatic” is not enough to describe it. “Overwhelming”, “Foreboding”, “Serene” – a Tower Shrouded in the Mist

(images via 1, 2)

Among the animals who live in the nearby jungles and come to “pay respect to the tower” are the Leatherback Sea Turtle and the The São Tomé Giant Treefrog, Hyperolius thomensis, endangered and rarely seen frog species:

(images via 1, D. Lin, California Academy of Sciences, 2)

Vertical climbing of this peak is complicated by the thick mist that lingers around it. The rock is slippery as oil on marble:

(images via)

The Dark Tower, err… no, the Great Dog is located within Obo National Park, if you fancy visiting this location and bringing back the One Ring to Rule Them All.

(image via)

But hurry. Big monsters tend to find such towers and climb them to their doom. Here is a (bear)? trying to scale the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming:

(a poster based on the image painted by Herbert A. Collins in 1936, via)


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