Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Badlands Guardian Indian Head

I had never heard of this until a couple of days ago when a colleague told me about it at work.

In the Badlands of Alberta, Canada, near Medicine Heat, is a neat erosional formation visible in satellite imagery.  It looks like an Indian's head.  Here it is snapped from Google (50° 00' 38.20" N, 110° 06' 48.32" W).

 
Christened the Badlands Guardian, the road leading up to a natural gas wellhead makes it look like he's wearing an ear bud.  In the image above, the feature looks like a plateau when, in reality, it's a low drainage area.  Below is a picture someone took of the feature with a paraglider.
 

Note that it's not as pronounced from this angle and the different lighting conditions.

Here's an short "news" piece from 2006 on Canadian TV.  Love the woman in the sweatshirt.  "What does it mean?  What are you crazy?  What does it mean?  What in means is that when the water was retreating from the melting glaciers, that's where the softest part of the earth was."

 
By the way, if you need more evidence that a number of people are crazy as loons, read some of the comments about this image on Panoramio and YouTube.  Personally, I believe it's proof of contact between the ancient Mayans, who were clearly from another world based on their advanced astronomical knowledge, and the Blackfoot people of Alberta.  That's where nearby Medicine Hat, Alberta gets its name from, by the way, the ancient Mayan space gods wore helmets.  Read Erich Von Daniken for more information (Yes, I am kidding!).
 
While neat to look at, this feature is simply an artifact of weathering and erosion, only seen from above under certain lighting conditions, and an example of something called pareidolia.  It's similar to the infamous face on Mars and other features people have claimed to see in satellite images of the Moon and Mars.

2 comments:

  1. Unfortunately or perhaps luckily I missed the 'Sensation' of this "Native American Head". I only found out last night while talking to a friend about how gullible people are to believe any conspiracy they read or placebo like crystal healing. I thought about it again when I got home from work and I wanted to find a reliable and logical source (a geologist) to confirm the answer I was looking for. Thanks for your professional opinion and information.

    Any advice for a 32 year old who is 'finally' going to study Geology next year?

    Kind Regards
    Michael Alexander

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    Replies
    1. When studying geology, take every opportunity to go on field trips and do field study!

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