Devil’s City of Gobi Desert! How does that sound? May be you will think of it as a home for some dark cult artists or maybe you will vision it as a mythological land appeared out of nowhere. Whatever you think, the surreal Devil’s City of Gobi Desert is very much real! It exists.
Walking through the Gobi will expose you to the sight of seemingly endless ocean of sands mixed with a deadly brew of blazing heat and killer winds. Once thrown in this daunting place, you may lose all hopes of surviving. You may just think of it as a barren land of sands where no living soul ever thrived. However, if you are lucky, you may just catch a glimpse of something – something mysterious! A medieval city popping out of nowhere sitting there in somber silence waiting for an unsuspecting prey to enter within its boundaries.
You may just think of it as a vivid 3D representation of your panicky mind or you may even end up thinking of it as a mirage at a distance. But wait! Before you just ignore what you see as a delusion of your brain, you should consider walking up to it. What you see at a distance is very much real and it goes by the name Devil’s City.
As you move closer and closer, the image you see will keep changing. First glance will tell you that it is a medieval city. A bit closer and you will think of it as a city of cults and then a bit closer and you will see it as a museum of stone mounds and enigmatic structures.
The Truth Behind Devil’s City of Gobi Desert
The Devil’s City of Gobi Desert may at first glance look like a medieval castle crafted by humans. You can see huge stones, ravines and earthen mounds that look like animals, castles, human sculptures or even demons with fanged muzzles. Entering the landscape will expose you to weird sounds – sounds that resemble to wailing, moaning, singing and shrill crying. You will immediately get chills and the first thought that will cross your mind is that you have entered the city of the devil.
Fortunately, this landscape is not a mythological place and neither is it a medieval castle built by humans. What you see is totally natural and very ancient. Just how ancient? As ancient as a 100 million years!
The land you will be standing at is known as Yadan National Geological Park located in the Gobi Desert of China. This park is located at a distance of 115 miles or 185 kilometers northwest from Dunhuang City in Gansu. The park covers a total area of 12,355 acres or 50 square kilometers. From north to south, the park stretches over a length of 25 kilometers and from east to west, the width of the park is 2 kilometers.
The sculptures and the structures you see at the Devil’s city are known as Yadan landforms. The term Yadan literally means steep hill and it originates in Uyghur language. All the landforms that you see at the park are results of millions of years of erosions caused by natural elements like winds, floods, rains etc.
Hold on! Floods and rains? That’s a desert we are talking about right? Of course! We are talking of Gobi Desert but about 100 million years ago, the place was not a desert at all. It was actually a freshwater lake – a massive one. Just like every other freshwater lake (with the exception of Lake Baikal in Siberia), that ancient lake too receded over time exposing ravines, boulders and sedimentary rocks.
Once the lake receded, natural forces like dry weather, rain and floods took control and carved the twisted sculptures, giving them the unusual shapes of animals, demons, human faces, castles, vehicles and more! Experts say that it took anywhere between 300,000 and 700,000 years to carve those sculptures. Interestingly, the Yadan National Geological Park has the largest number of natural formations in this entire world.