Uluru (Ayers Rock)
In the Northern Territory of Australia lies the single largest monolith rock in the world: Ayers Rock, or Uluru. At a staggering height of 346 meters and running about 2 miles in length and width, this sandstone rock formation towers over an otherwise completely flat terrain.
Uluru was probably formed by the slow erosion of the original mountain range. The rock is homogeneous, and as a result there is no soil on it. It is full of caves, canyons, cracks, water holes and other natural formations, as well as ancient paintings and carvings.
This monolith is an important and sacred place for the Aboriginals in Australia —in much the same way Titicaca is for South American tribes. Archaeological evidence has shown that the Aboriginals have lived in the region of Uluru for at least 30,000 years. Uluru is still a living cultural landscape. The Anangu Aboriginal people are guided by Tjukurpa (law) to keep both culture and country strong. This is something that has never changed.
According to the local legends, Uluru is believed to have resulted from the intervention of ‘gods’ when the divine beings emerged from the void and created all life on earth. It is said that two tribes of these ancestral beings had a battle to the death in this area over a beautiful lizard woman. As the result of this battle, the earth rose in grief and thus Uluru was created!
The Aboriginals do not climb Uluru since they consider it sacred, and although tourists were able to climb it in the past, it is now forbidden.
An interesting feature of Uluru is how it changes colours during the day, and over the course of the year. The sandstone of the rock contains reflective minerals that react differently to the varying positions of the sun, thus causing the surface to radiate different colours.
Uluru is an incredible and unique place to visit, and is not the only monolith one can visit in Australia. In fact, many more monoliths exist in this beautiful country, the second in size located in Queensland.