Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: Art in Nature

Art in Nature

Doesn't this scene look very magical and surreal, with the strange almost man-made looking sculptural forms scattered about in the landscape?

Photo from the World Conservation Union (IUCN), via BBC

It is the desert floor of Wadi al-Hitan, or Whale Valley, south of Cairo, littered with fossils of the last whales known to have legs. The remains reveal the transition of whales from land-based to the ocean-going mammals we know today. It is one of eight areas of natural beauty that have been put on the World Heritage list by Unesco (do look at them all).

National Geographic also reports on this, stating that "Egypt's Wadi Al-Hitan ("whale valley") reveals one of the iconic transitions in the record of life". Have a look at this photo of a whale, and another at UNESCO World Heritage Centre where you can also visit all the sites around the world on their list. Check out how many are from your country.

Marja-Leena | 20/07/2005 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, History, Photography, Rock Art & Archaeology


Fascinating! It is amazing how long I can live and still know so little! This piece of evolutionary history was lacking from my awareness. Thanks Marja-Leena!

Extraordinary picture and facts. How I wish I'd seen this when I went to Egypt.