Black Hill region of the western US state of Wyoming. An ideal place to enjoy the natural beauty. Many people flock to the foot of this mountain every year to hike the mountain.
As the hikers reach the banks of the Bel Fosh River, a tower-like object catches their eye. At first glance, it may seem like ancient architecture, built by the indigenous people of the region.
As seen in Egypt, Peru, and Scotland. But when you get closer, that mistake is broken. The tower is naturally formed. Looks like a ridged top.
Why is it called the Devil’s Tower?
In 1875, under the leadership of American Colonel Richard Irving Dodge, scientist geologist Walter P. Jenney conducted a geological survey in the Black Hill region.
They had news that there are many gold reserves here. They did not find any gold when they reached there, but they were fascinated by the beauty of this tower.
Dodge called it one of the most remarkable peaks in the world. The Native Americans called it ‘Lakota Matȟó Thípila’, meaning ‘Home of the Bear’ or abode of bears.
But whoever translates the name given to the Native American people, mistakenly translates Bad God’s Tower.
Colonel Dodge, therefore, named it ‘Devil’s Tower. This misnomer once became popular worldwide.
It is said that to escape from the bear, the natives climbed up on a rock and knelt down to pray to their great spirits.
The Great Spirit hears their prayers and stretches the stone towards heaven to save them. And so the bears tried to climb to the top. And the scratches of the bear’s claws created a grooved shape on the tower.
The Saiyan Indians tell another story. They say the bears killed all but the two girls. The surviving girls return to their residence and tell the story to the boys.
They learn from their priest that bears can only be killed by shooting an arrow under their feet. The boys cleverly lead the bears to the top and the bears think the boys are on the top.
The bears then make repeated attempts to climb to the top, causing more and more grooves to appear on the top. Once an arrow shot by the boys hits the bear very close to its feet and the bear gets scared and runs away. This is how this peak originated.
With the development of science and science fiction, a modern theory of Devil’s Tower was born.
Many people around the world believe that this tower is the creation of an extraterrestrial force. They thought it was an alien spaceship landing station.
A film was made on this concept in 1997 called ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, which further entrenched this concept among people.
In 2011, a movie called ‘Paul’ was made, where aliens’ relationship with this tower was shown.
Devil’s Tower is located in the US state of Wyoming. It is 265 meters or 768 feet high. Its peak is 5,112 feet above sea level. Geologists believe that it was created by the accumulation of magma or lava.
According to them, molten magma is stored in cracks in the surface. When the Rocky Mountains were uplifted by the pressure of tectonic plates 65 million years ago, this pool of magma rose up.
Later, over thousands of years, wind and rain eroded the surrounding soil, and the frozen magma peaked. Over the decades Devil’s Tower has become very popular among people.
Thousands of people flock here every year for climbing. As this tower is named in two movies, it attracts a lot of visitors. Besides, its natural beauty is worth enjoying.
A few special facts
- Devil’s Tower is America’s first recognized national monument. On September 24, 1906, President Roosevelt declared it a national monument.
- In 2005, Native Americans demanded that the peak be renamed. But their claim was not accepted as a lot of history is associated with this name.
- Although this tower is made of volcanic rock, it is not actually a volcano. There are no volcanoes even close by.
- Many thought it was actually hollow inside. There is a secret military base or alien chamber inside. But geologists think it is not hollow.
- Its top is almost as high as a football field. But football cannot be played here because of government restrictions.
- Climbing is not permitted in June, as many Native American religious ceremonies take place during that time. Besides, some roads are closed in winter for birds to build their nests.