Meteora – Natural Wonder of Greece
About 60 million years ago, during the Paleogene, a series of earth movements. It pushed up the seabed, creating plateaus and creating many vertical fault lines in the thick layers of sandstone. The massive rock pillars are formed by weathering of water, wind and extreme temperatures at vertical faults. Unusually, this type of conglomerate formation and weathering is limited to relatively localized areas surrounding mountains.
Next to the Pindus Mountains in the western region of Thessaly stand these unique and huge rock pillars. Steep off the ground. But their unusual shape is not easy to explain geologically. They are not volcanic plugs. Hard igneous rocks are common elsewhere, but these rocks are a mixture of sandstone and conglomerate. The conglomerate was deposited from rocks, sand and mud from streams that flowed into the lake delta over millions of years.
The complex is known as the Continental Remains of the Pangia Society. This type of rock formation and weathering process has occurred locally and in many other places around the world. But what sets Meteora apart is the uniformity of composition of millions of sedimentary rocks. There is little evidence of vertical stratification and local sudden vertical weathering over the years. Excavations and research have uncovered new insights into paleoclimate and climate change. Radiocarbon dating proves the existence of humans 50,000 years ago. The cave used to be public, but currently closed indefinitely for security checks.
Vegetation grows densely from vertical cliffs, mainly due to the fact that water can be found in the crevices and cracks that climb cliffs. Meteora has reportedly been light for the past few hundred years. The walking distance has changed because now you have to walk through an impenetrable jungle. Because these are huge, unpredictable rock pillars, falling rocks pose a constant threat to pilgrims and visitors to Meteora. The 1954 magnitude 7 earthquake shook the rock, and miraculously, the slender pillars are still standing today. In 2005, such a huge rock fell that the road to Meteora was closed for several days.