Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park (Madagascar)

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park (Madagascar)
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The Forest of Limestone Needles

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is the largest example of a Tsingy forest on earth stretching about 158,000 ha.

Whether you love geology or not, you’ll agree with me that Tsingy de Bemaraha is a visual phenomenon. Let’s learn a little geology about this amazing feature. There are several such places in the world. Tsingy (which in Malagasy means “where one cannot walk barefoot” – referring to the tall, thin, needle-like rock formations) “limestone forests” are structures of towering, sometimes razor-sharp pillars of limestone. Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is the largest example of a tsingy forest on Earth stretching about 158,000ha. This stunning and at the same time terrifying sight has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since it’s home to an exceptionally large number of endemic species of plants and animals.


According to NASA, the formation of these unusual rocks actually began some 200 million years ago when layers of calcite accumulated at the bottom of a Jurassic lagoon, forming a thick limestone bed. Later, tectonic activity elevated the limestone exposing the limestone.The limestone was further exposed as sea level fell during the Pleistocene ice ages. No longer underwater, the ancient sediments were carved by monsoon rains, which washed softer rocks away and left tougher rocks standing.Meanwhile, groundwater carved caves below the surface. As cave ceilings gave way, canyons formed between rocky towers.

Lemur sitting on needle-like rock formations.
Photo courtesy of Wallpaper Flare

Today, the limestone formation shows a combination of jagged spires and rounded surfaces.

This unique terrain provides an ideal habitat for hundreds of animals some still undiscovered by people. The feature is also a famous home to lemurs, primates that are only found on the island of Madagascar. Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park should definitely be in your travel bucket list. ..

Read more interesting geology articles on this link: https://www.mininghubafrica.com/category/geology/

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