Singing Sand Mountain (Mingsha Mountain) located in the southern side of Dunhuang city has total area of about 200 square kilometers. The sand mountain looks like the wave. Once it was called Sand-Horn Mountain or Shajia Mountain. Singing Sand Mountain gets close to Tengger Desert, and is equally famous to Shapotou in Ningxia province, Xiangshawan in Inner Mongolia and Barkol in Xinjiang Autonomous Region. They are together called Chinese Top-Four Mountains with Singing Sand. It is said that in the past this place abounded in water and grass. A general of Han Dynasty led his troop to go westwardly, and at one night his troop suffered from the sneak attack from enemy. The gale suddenly rose when they fought against each other, and the gale brought the sands widely. As a result, two troops were both buried deeply by sands. Since then the Singing-Sand Mountain or Mingsha Mountain appeared. In 1994, Mingsha Mountain was ranked the third batch of scenic spots under the national-level protection.
Surrounded by Mingsha Mountain, a crescent-shaped spring lies in the green basin, hence comes the name Yueya Spring (Crescent Spring). The Crescent Spring is located at the north foot of Mingsha Mountain, about 50 meters from north to south and 5 meters deep on an average. It is so named because it shapes like a crescent. The Crescent Spring water is sweet and crystal clear, and never gets covered up by drift sand. It never overflows after long-lasting rain or dries up after a long drought. It has wonderful scenery, with flickering leaves of aspens and weeping willows, sweet flowers of narrow-leaved oleaster, swaying reeds and hovering wide birds. Repeated recordation of the Crescent Spring can be found in historical documents, closely connected with the Mingsha Mountain. According to historical records, the marvelous desert spectacle of Mingsha Mountain and the Crescent Spring has a history of more than two thousand years. Over all these years, people never found out why drift sand did not fill the spring.
Well-known as The First Desert Spring on Earth, Crescent Spring is featured by its location and surroundings. Without Mingsha Mountain, Crescent Spring would not be so popular; so is Mingsha Mountain in reverse.
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