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Shiprock or "the winged rock" in Navajo, is a monolith composed of resistant volcanic rock that rises nearly 500 meters above the high-desert plain of the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States. The monolith is the remnant of an ancient volcano that became extinct about 27 million years ago and has eroded away leaving a rocky stump exposed at the surface. The stump represents the neck of the volcano, the central feeder pipe through which the magma erupted, now solidified. This neck was probably 750 to 1000 meters below the land surface at the time it was formed, and has since gained its prominent form due to erosion of surrounding rocks.

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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