The vicinity of the earth’s 30th parallel north is sometimes referred to as “the umbilical cord” of the earth, as many wonderful and mysterious geographic and cultural phenomena happen to occur along this line of latitude. World-famous rivers like the Nile, the Euphrates, the Mississippi, the Yangtze, etc. flow into the sea. Mount Everest, the world’s highest, and the Marianas, the deepest ocean trench, both rest here. Among others are the Pyramids, the Maya Civilization, the Sahara Grand Desert, the Dead Sea, the Bermuda Triangle, the Qiantang River Tidal Bore, ruins of the Sanxingdui Culture, etc. A few of China’s most famous mountains – Mount Huangshan, Mount Lushan, Mount Ermeishan, and Mount Tianzhushan – are also located on this belt.
In 2011, Tianzhu Mountain was designated as a member of the UNESCO Global Geopark Network and won the title of “Tianzhushan World Geopark”. Its designation was based on the UNESCO’s recognition of Tianzhu Mountain’s outstanding value in recording the geological changes that had occurred to this region.
Tianzhu Mountain stands on the southeast of the Dabie Mountain orogenic belt which lies between the North China Craton and the Yangtze Craton. Millions of years’ geological movements such as faulting, rupturing, water and wind erosion, have contributed to the majestic and marvelous landforms. Tianzhu Mountain is internationally recognized as the most important source of Paleontological vertebrate fossils and the origin of rodents in China. Fossils of nearly 50 species of ancient vertebrates living about 60 million years ago have been unearthed at around a dozen localities. Several of the mammalian fossils discovered in the Tianzhushan Geopark are unique species in Asia, such as Mesonychidae pseudictopidae, lycaeidae, Eurymylidae and Mimotona wana. All these are displayed at a Tianzhushan Geopark Museum.
A few rare fauna species in Tianzhu Mountain Geopark: sable, viverricula-vindica, and Syrmaticus-reveesii.
Fossils and the Museum
The views presented by today’s Tianzhu Mountain are magnificently unique. Its very name “Tianzhu” literally means “pillar to the heaven”. As one poem by Bai Juyi, one of the top Tang Dynasty poets, describes, “the heavenly pillar peak holds up the sky, with caves thousand-meter high wreathed by clouds.” In fact, it had used to be honored as one of the five most sacred mountains in the Chinese heartland until being replaced by Mount Hengshan in 589.
Besides the majestic peaks, Tianzhu Mountain also features grotesque rocks, precipitous cliffs, beautiful ridges and tranquil caves. Quite like in Huangshan Mountain, Tianzhu Mountain is the place to enjoy all shapes of rocks. Its main peak, reaching up to 1489.8 m above sea level, is a shocking sight, when set against a sea of clouds in particular.
Rocks of Tianzhu Mountain - Geological Heritage of the Earth
Galary: Marvelous Views of Tianzhu Mountain
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