picture of the day
The small town of Konari, Iran and the
Mand River. Credit: Landsat-7 USGS
Oct 01, 2007
The Zagros Mountains, Iran
According to standard theory, wind and water are
the only forces that can explain the features observed in
this startling image. Could electricity have played a role?
In our previous observations of
the Earth's electrical scarring, the
mountains of Patagonia,
Shiprock, New Mexico,
Lake Victoria and the
Brandberg Massif all reveal features that closely
resemble electric discharge machining, or EDM.
One of the most dramatic
examples of possible EDM on Earth is an area in southwestern
Iran known as the
Zagros mountains. Evidence of human habitation has been
found there from as early as the Neolithic period.
Archaeological teams from around the world have shown it to
have been a major center of trade and political dominance
for nearly as long as human history, itself, though the
mountainous country is up to seven thousand meters high.
Chogha Mish have been unearthed in modern
Khuzestan, two cities that were important to the entire
region as agricultural and financial districts.
Landsat-7 satellite, operated by the United States
Geological Survey (USGS), has been mapping the Earth's
resources and historical sites for many years taking the
reins from its predecessors that first went up to space in
1972. Landsat-5, for example, has just completed its 125
thousandth orbit of the Earth. Many of our previous articles
have made use of information provided by the Landsat series.
Found in the region of the
Zagros mountains are gigantic
V-shaped ridges that extend for hundreds of miles. They
are extant at every scale and are cleanly cut into the solid
rock of the mountain range. In the image at the top of the
page such features can be seen
rising up from the valley floor in regular, tile-like
patterns of polygonal steps each one describing an arc
several hundred miles wide. Within the
mountainous uplifts are hemispherical shapes that appear
to be craters cut in half by titanic forces.
In and of themselves, the Zagros
mountains are exceptional geological formations that have
been under reported for their distinctive nature, such as
ooze from the mountain like plastic rock. However, there
are other areas on Earth that display contours almost
identical to those in Iran.
Massanutten mountain, Virginia
San Rafael Swell, Utah, each possess the characteristic
dual-ridge valleys and arc-shaped headlands with radiating
Lichtenberg figures seen in Iran. They are composed of
chevron-shaped blocks that suggest they were carved
rather than molded by volcanism or eroded by wind and rain.
More relevant is the proximity of the Zagros mountain range
to the huge discharge trackway that has cut into
In the case of Massanutten
Chesapeake Bay is practically identical in overall
configuration, except that the Atlantic Ocean has occupied
the scar of Chesapeake, while the one in Yemen retains its
pristine appearance. Both Yemen and Virginia look like they
were hit by lightning bolts as big as those cast by Zeus
himself. Are the same cosmic thunderbolts responsible for
excavating and sculpting the
By Stephen Smith
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