CREATING PANDORA ON EARTH; Daryl Holland; Pursuit
China’s Zhangjiajie UNESCO Global Geopark looks like a scene from Avatar, but it wasn’t created by computers; water, time and tectonics combined to create this other-worldly wonder
If you saw the movie Avatar on the big screen, you were more than likely awed by the 3-D spectacle of the planet Pandora.
For many, the most spectacular location on the fictional planet is the Hallelujah Mountains – giant, square-sided, floating rocks shrouded in mist, covered with rich vegetation and fast-flowing waterfalls dropping away into nothingness, around which flying reptiles and futuristic military aircraft do battle.
It’s breathtaking, pure fantasy, or is it?
Closer to home is the Zhangjiajie UNESCO Global Geopark in southern China. Here you will find giant, square-sided, pillar-like rock formations, shrouded in mist, covered with rich vegetation and fast-flowing waterfalls dropping away into nothingness. While they are firmly attached to the ground, their size and geometry give them an otherworldly appearance that seems to defy the laws of physics.
It’s the closest thing we have to Pandora on Earth.