Mount Roraima: A Floating Island Shrouded in Mystery
Mount Roraima: A Floating Island Shrouded in Mystery, part of Venezuela’s 30000-square-kilometer Canaima National Park, is the site of the highest peak of the country of Guyana’s Highland Range.
The mountains of this range, including Roraima, are considered to be some of the oldest geological formations known, some dating back to two billion years ago.
Its near daily rains have also created a unique ecosystem which includes several endemic species, such as a unique carnivorous pitcher plant, and some of the highest waterfalls in the world.
Culturally, the mountain has long held significance to the indigenous people of the area and features prominently in their myths and folklore.
This remote landscape of jungle and cliffs has inspired the dinosaur infested landscapes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World, and the dramatic waterfalls dubbed “Paradise Falls” in the 2009 Pixar film Up.
A hidden treasure in the lesser known parts of South America this amazing place belongs on the top of any explorers bucket list.
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‘Roroi-ma,’ in the Pemon language means ‘big blue-green. This mountain is the highest of the many Table Mountains scattered over the grasslands of The Gran Sabana.
There are some unique fauna and flora on each of the tepuis since species have developed in complete isolation on top of them over millennia.
The strange rock formations, quarts fields that look like a diamond encrusted fairy land, insect eating plants and many high waterfalls gives the whole area an unreal feel and has been an inspiration to writers and movie makers since its discovery.
Roraima is truly a lost world, an expedition undertaken by only a handful of adventurous hikers and explorers these days.
The top of the tepuy consists of quartzite (hard) and sandstones (softer when weathered), they appear black due to added organic matter (moss, fungi) over millions of years.
Erosion on the top has created depressions, which the rain transforms into crystal clear ponds and pools. There also exist some areas with pink sands, which gives birth to truly otherworldly landscapes.
The rocky terrain of Roraima’s summit is home to endemic animal species that exist nowhere else on earth, including seed-eating and nectar-feeding birds that have adapted to the harsh environment.
The most peculiar species here are undoubtedly tiny black pebble toads that are believed to predate dinosaurs.
They are closely related to an African species, and were likely trapped here when the continents separated, adapting over time to their new habitat.
First discovered in 1895 when early biologists set foot on Mount Roraima, these curious little creatures measure about one inch, and cling onto slippery rocky surfaces.
They are unable to swim or hop, and escape predators by wrapping themselves up into tiny balls and bouncing off rocks.
Most people who dare to scale Mount Roraima report having some kind of strange experience, be it feelings or things they sense while exploring the area.
Even some skeptics seem to be convinced of the power of Mount Roraima after exploring it.
For those willing to go beyond the typical adventure of hiking remote mountains, Mount Roraima offers plenty to explore.