Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Insane Discover America Tour 2016: Petrified Forest
From the moment you enter Petrified Forest National Park, you realize that you are looking at far more than just pieces of stone-line wood. As you drive, the land unfolds around you, revealing a wide variety of color.
Each color means something. It tells scientists what conditions were like back in the Mesozoic Era, when the continents looked different, and the sea levels were higher than today.
Unlike Utah's famed National Parks, the landscape of Petrified Forest hails from the Triassic Age, long before the later Jurassic Age, famous for its fierce and enormous dinosaurs.
During this time, creatures unlike dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Some, such as the Placerias, demonstrated both reptilian and mammalian characteristics.
Still, it's the mystery of petrified wood that fascinates us most. What kinds of trees towered above the land so long ago? What forces preserved them so beautifully that they rival the most exquisite gemstones?
The Native Americas discovered its utility long before scientists realized how much petrified wood could tell us about the past. The plethora of shops that sell petrified wood, both inside the park and out, attest to its enduring appeal.