Are these pictures of rainbow mountains in China real?
Hoax or Fact:
A set of amazing pictures claim to show colorful rainbow mountains in China, which are supposedly formed naturally. Yes, it is a fact, these rainbow mountains are located in Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, in Gansu Province of China.
The Danxia scenic area in north-west China is a landform of reddish sandstone which has been eroded to create these unusual rock formations. The unusual colors of the rocks is the result of this red sandstone and mineral deposits being laid down over 24 million years. The process of development of these landforms is characterized by a particular rock sequence, tectonic background, climatic conditions and erosional processes. The Danxia landform hosts a set of weird and wonderful mountain shapes including natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys and even waterfalls - that differ in colour, texture, shape, size and pattern. This Danxia region of China is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2010 and has become a popular tourist attraction for the town of Zhangye.
While the first picture that comes with the story can be slightly manipulated to make the colors pop a bit more than they would naturally, the other genuine pictures of this rainbow mountains are in fact wonderful and amazing. The pictures shown in image section below are from Amos Chapple / Rex Features. You can watch these colorful, rainbow mountains of Danxia in the Chinese video shown.
Interestingly, there is a similar land formation in British Columbia called the Rainbow Range, which is formed from a mixture of volcanic rock and various minerals. You can read more about it from the reference section below.