Mystery of giant rock with perfect split – but was it the weather or aliens?

Natural or the work of aliens? The internet is divided…(Flickr)

Take a look at the gap scything parts of this gigantic rock in two.

Seems pretty straight, doesn’t it?

The mystery of how this came to pass is currently dividing the internet.

One geologist suggests the split could have been caused by ‘freeze thaw’ weathering, but not everyone agrees.

They say it’s so precise and so smooth it must be the result of aliens coming to Earth in the distant past and using a giant laser to cut it in two.

Which makes perfect sense.

The huge boulder is made from sandstone and sits in Saudi Arabia’s arid Tayma oasis. Called the Al Naslaa rock formation it has become a popular photo opportunity.

What made that split? (Shutterstock)

The rock measures 30ft tall and 25ft wide and bears a carving showing what’s believed to be a man on a horse.

But the split down the middle is what everyone’s really interested in.

On Reddit, one user, ‘El_Hombre_Siniestro’, said: ‘I’m not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens.’ 

‘Definitely aliens’, agreed another, named Mrkim420. 

One user speculated that the divide was created when an alien messed ‘with a super laser pointer on some random planet their species found and accidentally cut a rock in half’.

Unfortunately, there’s a more scientific reason for the impressively straight gap.

Geologist Cherry Lewis told MailOnline it’s a natural phenomenon.

Lewis is an honorary research fellow at the University of Bristol and explained: ‘It [the split] could have formed due to a process called “freeze-thaw” weathering, which occurs when water gets into a small crack in the rock. As temperatures drop, the water freezes and expands which causes the crack to widen and lengthen.

‘As the ice melts, water makes its way deeper and deeper into the crack.

Split Rock (Nasla Rock), in desert of Tayma, Saudi Arabia (Shutterstock)

‘The process repeats itself over thousands, or even millions, of years until the rock eventually splits. This process, coupled with wind erosion – which, in a desert environment, is like sandblasting – could also explain why the boulder is standing on its own like that.’ 

So, there you have it. Definitely not aliens.


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