Impossible Pillars: Another Natural Wonder of the World


Seeming to defy the laws of gravity, teetering, spindly mountains tower into the air in a surreal display reminiscent of the floating monoliths in the movie Avatar. This is China’s Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and its particularly stunning natural beauty can’t be found anywhere else in the world.


(top & above images via: kenner116,

Located 19 miles from urban Zhangjiajie, a city in the northern Hunan Province, this park is part of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, an officially recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoying a comfortable sub-tropical climate, the park attracts thousands of year-round visitors who come to gawk at its unusual landscape.

(images via: top china travel, wikimedia commons)

Tourists navigate the many hiking trails and attempt to capture on film the staggering pillars that make the park so famous. The small girth of these towering mountains, particularly notable for their height, is the result of many years of erosion which occurs during the expansion of ice in the winter.


(images via:, kenner116)

The similarity of the floating ‘Hallelujah Mountains’ in Avatar to the pillars in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is no accident. The film’s director and production designers were inspired by their ethereal appearance. One pillar, the 3,544-foot Southern Sky Column, has been officially renamed ‘Avatar Hallelujah Mountain’ in honor of the movie.