What are Canyons? They are deep ravines between cliffs or the mountain peaks, mostly carved due to the wearing activity of rivers. They are also known as Gorges. As rivers have a natural tendency to cut through the surface upon which they flow, thus they erode the underlying layers of the rocks forming canyons. Wide box canyons & narrow slot canyons are the two types of Canyons.
World’s 10 most unbelievable canyons:
1. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon – Iceland
Located in south east Iceland, it is one of the most gorgeous canyons in the world.
The Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is up to 100 m deep and about 2 kilometres long, and the Fjaðrá river flows through it. This Canyon was created due to the progressive erosion caused by the water from the glaciers, which flowed through cutting the rocks and palagonite for millennia. It is also a very popular tourist’s destination.
2. Grand Canyon – Arizona USA
This is a steep-sided canyon, which is carved by the Colorado River in the state of Arizona, US. It is about 277 miles long and 18 miles wide, also has a depth of more than a mile. This is also a popular tourist destination, it is visited by many on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.
3. Antelope Canyon, USA
Located in the southwest of America, it is a slot canyon which is one of the most popular, most visited and the most photographed canyon in the world. What makes it more popular is the uniquely shaped rocks along with the flowing patterns in beautiful colours. This canyon was formed by the erosion of the Navajo Sandstone, mainly because of flash flooding and secondarily due to sub-aerial processes.
4. Blyde River Canyon – South Africa
Located in Mpumalanga , the Blyde River Canyon is a noteworthy natural feature of South Africa. This canyon is 25 kilometres in length and around 750 metres deep. It consists of red sandstone mostly. Mariepskop is the highest point of this canyon, which is 1,944 metres above the sea level. It is perhaps the world’s largest green canyon.
5. Fish River Canyon – Namibia
Located in south Namibia, it is the largest canyon in Africa. Attracting a huge number of tourist, who visit to witness its enormity and magnificence. This canyon is about 160 km length, 27 km wide and 550 m deep. In the lower ends of the canyon, there is a hot springs resort. Some areas of the canyon are privately owned. However, this canyon contains small amounts of water.
6. Indus Gorge, Pakistan
This is one of the deepest and the most incredible gorges across the world. In Asia, the Indus River is one of the most important river. This river cuts to a depth of about 4500-5200 metres along its course near the Nanga Parbat massif, while it passes the Nanga Parbat and forms a gigantic canyon.
7. Gorges Du Verdon – France
Located in south-eastern France, this is considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful canyon. The length if this canyon is about 25 kilometres and the depth is up to 700 metres. This canyon was formed by the Verdon River. The most beautiful part of this canyon lies between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, at these places the river has cut a ravine to a depth of 700 metres through the limestone mass.
8. Tiger Leaping Gorge – China
Located in Yunnan, China; this is one of the deepest and most scenic gorges in the world. This has a maximum depth of about 3790 meters, from the river to the peak. It is a very large canyon. Naxi people are the inhabitants of the gorge, they live in a handful of small hamlets.
9. Kali Gandaki Gorge – Nepal
Formed by the Kali Gandaki, or Gandaki River in the Himalayas, it is one of the most wonderful gorges in the world. According to few records it is the world’s deepest gorge. It has a depth of 5571 which is lower than Annapurna I at a point between Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri. Thak Khola is the upper part of this canyon.
10. Bryce Canyon – USA
Located in Utah, US; this canyon looks like a natural amphitheatre. It has columns made of limestone, which are known as hoodoo. It gathered fame as one of the most stunning canyons in the world at the beginning of 1900s. it was formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the rivers and lakes bed sedimentary rocks. It offers a spectacular view of red, orange, and white colours of the rocks.
There are many such canyons which aren’t explored. All these canyons discussed above are among the most stunning and naturally formed landforms on earth.