Friday mystery photo

flickr, Ozyman

The badlands of New Mexico's Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area are, in a word, otherworldly.

Replete with hoodoos and spectacular rock shapes, visitors may feel they have somehow traveled to a new planet. Round boulders layered with sandstone look like strange eggs.

Its ominous aesthetic is complimented by immense silence. The dry climate and ashy soil leave it not only plant-free but nearly life less, with only a handful of mammals and birds present.


Not unlike a massive, gorgeous graveyard, this region is generally where dinosaurs are believed to have gone extinct, so fossils are frequently found here.

Bisti means "among the adobe formations", while De-Na-Zin means "cranes" in the language of Navaho tribes, some of whom continue to call this place home.

You can learn more about Bisti/De Na Zin in our desert wilderness showcase gallery


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