18 Natural Formations that Look Man-Made

Whether you enjoy outdoor adventures or surf the great beyond from your computer chair, it’s easy for the human brain to see complexity and touches of man-made civilization in the impressive natural formations of our world. Our brains are wired to mistake culture when nature mimics man-made structures. From geometrical faces carved by the forces of nature to sleeping giants in the sea, here are the 18 strangest yet most amazing tricks of nature creatively mocking man’s design.

Rainbow and Cracked Fairy Chimney

(image via:Curious Expeditions)

Vastly extreme landscapes exist in central Turkey. Magical fairies are said to have created extraordinary scenes.  A thick layer of volcanic rock and ash helps to protect these beautiful stone formations. Over eons of time, the basalt cracks and the much softer inner stone begins to erode and wash away. This “Fairy Chimney” appears to have a window overlooking an enchanted land. Nature added a rainbow in this magnificent view.

Dead Man – Sleeping Giant

(image via:Flickr)

Off the coast of Ireland, near the Blasket Islands, this rock formation is known as the Dead Man or The Sleeping Giant. With foreboding dark clouds hanging low over the small island, this natural rock structure looks like a man who laid down to sleep on the water. Minard’s Head, the stunning mountainous countryside where The Sleeping Giant waits, has been forgotten by most guides and therefore by most tourists. The Dead Man is surrounded by peace and tranquility with only the low crashing sound of the waves on the rocky shore, as forgotten as the ruins of the castle nearby.

Indian Head, Witch’s Face, Building Blocks, Australian Heart

(images via:National Wildlife Federation,Flickr,National Geographic,Flickr)

Nature has been making the most gorgeous art for countless centuries without any help from man’s technology. In the Colorado Rockies, this great red stone face of an Indian chief keeps a watchful eye as man tears up the Earth. His distinct triangular face, large brow, long nose, and mouth stand out in contrast to the mountain. (upper left)

Decorating Laguna Beach, this natural rock formation appears to the human eye as a silhouette of a witch’s face. If viewed from the proper angle, this series of jutting granite ledges gives man another illusion of itself. Face-like stone formations are common around the world. The craggy nose, pointy hair, and elongated chin are easily visible on the witch’s face. (upper right)

In Peru, these stone formations were once thought to be ruins from an ancient “Lost City.” Archaeologists and geological analysis proved these rectangular rocks are a natural design. Each architectural piece is made of sandstone that showed no signs of intervention by the hands of man. Instead of ruins from the Inca people, nature once again created rock formations that look like they were made by man. (bottom left)

Found at Ayers Rock, Australia, this indentation in the rock looks like a red heart. Uluru is a huge sandstone rock formation that is sacred to the Aboriginal people. Uluru National Park is considered an Australian icon. Standing 1140 feet high, most of the red rock is burrowed beneath the ground.  The aboriginals believed a turtle-spirit changed into Ayers Rock. The area has many caves and springs where the Aboriginal people survived.  It is as if nature carved this heart in an area well-loved by the Australians. (bottom right)

Ancient Walls and Building Blocks

(image via:Flickr)

In Scotland, near the eastern coastline of the Caithness district, these magnificent rocks look like ancient building blocks and man-made walls. Instead, ravaging winds and the turbulent sea have carved out the rocks over many centuries. A human’s visual perception mistakes natural forces for complex right-angled blocks and walls. Nature, not technology, molded and carved these millions of colored stone layers.

Giant’s Causeway, The Old Man of the Mountain, Footprint, Stone Forest

(images via:National Geographic,Flickr,Panoramio,Flickr)

In Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway stepping stones lead into the sea. Extremely active volcanoes spewed molten lava which solidified into a substantial plateau. Formed at least 50 million years ago, the molten magma  cracked and fractured as it quickly cooled into igneous rock. These geometric stepping stones made by nature’s hand have mesmerized humans for an eternity. (top left & bottom right)

This Great Stone Face can be found in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Formed by glaciers millions of years ago, The Old Man in the Mountain resides 1200 feet up with stone shelves that are 25 feet wide and 40 feet tall. A face, a jagged and craggy profile, is visible when seen at the correct angle.  The Old Man of the Mountain is made up of a series of five granite cliff ledges. What Mother Nature created, the human eye sees as a face-like stone formation. (top right)

Near Gujarat India, in a breathtaking land of cave temples, this rock formation was found. Gujarat civilization is thought to date back from 3000 to 1500 BC. This ancient natural rock formation has rested, untouched, for untold thousands of years. Brightly colored and carefully sculpted by nature over time, the textures and patterns in this rock appear as if it were a human footprint. (middle left)

Spotted via satellite in Varna, Bulgaria, this unique geological formation looks like a Stone Forest. The Bulgarian name for these rocks is “Pobitite Kamani” which means stones beaten into the ground. These white rock formations, a fabulous natural phenomena, may date back some 270 million years. The stones are clustered together in some places and spread apart in others as if the forest were seeded eons ago. Tall rocks look like trees made of stone, broken and fallen with age. Once again, to the eyes of man it appears as if man-made, but nature created an illusion of a forest made of stone. (bottom left)

Moeraki Boulders

(image via:Wikipedia)

Along the coast of New Zealand, overly large and spherical boulders lie scattered on Koekohe Beach. Exhumed by coastal erosion, these boulders were created by the cementation of Paleocene. Nature formed these huge round rocks similar to how an oyster makes a pearl. Instead of a grain of sand, these beautiful boulders began as a fossil shell or perhaps small pieces of wood. Lime and minerals from the sea accumulated over time and grew up to perfect spherical shapes, some up to 9 feet in diameter. Local legend spins a tale of how these massive gray rocks came to rest on the shore, another example of man attempting to explain away how nature could form something so spectacular.


(image via:Flickr)

Nature chiseled this ancient rock near Nas, located on the Greek Island of Icaria. Alongside the spectacular beaches, ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess Artemis remain. People have lived in Icaria since at least 7000 BC. Nas was a sacred spot and the Temple of Artemis was considered a last stop before sailing the treacherous seas. Sailors made sacrifices to the Goddess Artemis, the patron of sea-farers. Like a fierce stone creature, this natural formation looks like a hideous troll perched on the rocky outcropping over the exquisite aquamarine sea.

Fairy Chimneys

(image via:Flickr)

In Cappadocia, Turkey, eons of time have eroded jutting volcanic rock formations to create mystical Fairy Chimneys for as far as the human eye can see. The outer hard layer of stone is less easily-eroded than the inner soft sedimentary rock. Primitive people carved out homes, chapels, and tombs in the stone. This territory in Turkey is epically strange yet enchanting. This mystical and peculiar landscape continues below ground where the rocks have been tunneled out to create underground and otherworldly cities.

The Sleeping Ute

(image via:Flickr)

The Sleeping Ute Mountain is on the “Ute Mountain Ute Reservation” in northern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado. The cluster of angular crests is the profile of “The Sleeping Ute.” Alone in an otherwise flat land, the mountain peaks soar from 5 to 12 miles high. The Sleeping Ute is supposed to resemble a Ute Chief lying down with his arms folded across his chest for all eternity. The legend associated with this land is that a Great Warrior God helped to fight against the evil ones. During the mighty battle, his feet formed into the mountains and valleys. The Great Warrior God was wounded and fell into a deep sleep as he rested to recover. His wounds bled, becoming the living water. Rain clouds form out of his pockets. He continues to care for his people. The changing of this blankets bring the seasons: dark green, yellow and red, and white.  A 3-day Sun Dance is held every year over Sleeping Ute’s heart. His head is to the right while his folded arms, hips, knees, and toes stretch to the left.

Underwater Arena

(image via:Lauralee)

When diving in Japan, this ancient underwater treasure awaits to tickle or to trick the visual senses. Yonajuni Monument has long been debated as either made by nature or made by man. This popular diving location boasts stone terraces, stone circles, and perhaps even a stone arena that are buried deep underwater off the coast of Japan. Have these massive natural structures been chiseled by strong currents or by an ancient alien civilization long gone from the land? Mankind sees underwater ruins, angles and walls. It may be nature simply looking like it is man-made. The arguments rage on of whether Yonajuni Monument was artificially or naturally formed.

Strange Natural Formations

(image via:Flickr)

Although this mossy rock appears to have man-made rectangular patterns on top, this phenomena is actually nature fooling the eyes of man yet again. Patterns like a fishing net weave across the rock, making the stone appear to be man-made. Nature coated the angular lines with layers of green and yellow moss. The squared shapes embedded in the rock came about during the formation of a huge boulder. These patterns formed naturally over hundreds of years, not a trick to confound, but a gift from Mother Nature.

Natural Sphinx

(image via:Flickr)

Located In Pakistan, Hingol National Park is both extensive and exquisite. It ranges from a natural habitat for wildlife where a river runs through it to a dry and desolate desert. Hingol National Park contains four ecosystems: desert, Arabian Sea, open plains, and rugged mountains. Numerous birds, crocodiles, turtles, gazelles and marine life flourish in the diverse environment. It is a land where nature rules. This rock formation resembles the Great Sphinx of Giza. This Sphinx, however, is a natural one that was sculpted by coastal semi-desert winds for millions of years.

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