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Pete at Home
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OK, this has been bothering me for decades now.

There's this scene in the movie "Willow" (after the whole ski down the hill on a shield with a baby scene, and before the whole polymorph a troll into a dragon during combat scene) where Kilmer, Willow, Sorcha, and that baby, all head down into this very strange canyon.

IIRC in the 1980s, it's too early to be doing computer animation, but that canyon is *remarkable.* It's like -- you think the ground goes straight on in a plain, but then as you approach, the ground's broken up and you descend into a maze of white jagged collumns.

Is that really a place on earth, or is that some sort of remarkable trick photography?

Geologically, what would cause the ground to break apart like that, forming vertical collumns that are level with the ground outside the area, but gradually get deeper as you move in?

It's as if the stone shrank and cracked apart as the water levels in the ground dried out, like old dry cheddar that got left uncovered in the refrigerator.

What kind of stone does that? I know that copper sulphate turns to powder if you dessicate it ... are there forms of rock that also require water to maintain cohesion, or is this a product of heat or something else like that?

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Pete at Home
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I've actually spent some time researching this and keep drawing blanks. Found 200 sites referring to a song about those canyons, but no freaking pictures (other than face closeups of the actors that only show a flat slab of rock behind which is of no good to me). And no reference to where they filmed that, or whether it was trick photography.
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kenmeer livermaile
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some locales

Some more

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Wayward Son
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Although I don't recall the scene in the movie (not suprising), what you've described sounds like some Badlands, like the Dakota Badlands, Bryce Canyon or the Missouri Breaks. These are locations where part of a large, flat plain rises (or falls, I suppose) leaving a step from one level to another. Then erosion along the step carves out these twisting canyons, often surrounded by thin pillars of stone with a tiny bit of the orignal plain on top.

When you approach these canyons from the higher side, it is like the plain just suddenly falls away. Or at least that is precisely the experience I had when I visited Bryce.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I suspect it is in the English or Wales locations. White limestone. Karst topography. THe desert montane regions wayward describes involves sandstone, red through amber, yes?
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Wayward Son
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Hmm… Could be, ken. Could be…
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Pete at Home
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Thanks, Kenmeer and WS. I'll have to look up those place names.


quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Although I don't recall the scene in the movie (not suprising), what you've described sounds like some Badlands, like the Dakota Badlands, Bryce Canyon or the Missouri Breaks. These are locations where part of a large, flat plain rises (or falls, I suppose) leaving a step from one level to another. Then erosion along the step carves out these twisting canyons, often surrounded by thin pillars of stone with a tiny bit of the orignal plain on top.

When you approach these canyons from the higher side, it is like the plain just suddenly falls away. Or at least that is precisely the experience I had when I visited Bryce.

I guess I must have visited Bryce from the wrong side.

So simple water running between those pillars carved them out over time? Wild. WIsh I could find some more pictures of the scene you describe where the ground drops away into ... broken deeps.

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