Hoodoos: The Beautiful Fairy Chimneys That Appear To Be From Another Planet

Hoodoos near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image credit: Albuquerque Outdoors Magazine

Hoodoos. Fairy chimneys. Earth pyramids. Tent rocks. They have many different names, but these strange badland rock formations are one and the same, and they can be found in various iterations across the planet.

They typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They generally form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations.

Hoodoos at Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah wilderness area in northwestern New Mexico. Image credit: John Fowler

Hoodoos are found mainly in the desert in dry, hot areas. They range in size from the height of an average human to heights exceeding a 10-story building. Hoodoo shapes are affected by the erosional patterns of alternating hard and softer rock layers. Minerals deposited within different rock types cause hoodoos to have different colors throughout their height, giving them an even more magical look.

By the way, according to Merriam-Webster the word “hoodoo” also stands for “a body of practices of sympathetic magic traditional especially among African Americans in the southern U.S.” Well, we can see the connection between the two meanings…

king of wings

King of Wings rock formation, New Mexico. Image credit: AndrMoel

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Fairy chimneys with foggy weather in Cappadocia, Turkey. Image source: Flypgs

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