Mushroom Rock of Algeria and the possible story behind the figure

Africa has a spectacular, if not weird looking, lone standing Mushroom Rock in the Tamanrasset, Saharian desert of Algeria.

By the way, a mushroom rock, also called rock pedestal, or a pedestal rock, is a naturally occurring land edifice whose shape, as its name implies, resembles a mushroom.

Mushroom Rocks are usually deformed in varied ways, including through the works of erosion, natural weathering, glacial action, or from a sudden disturbance including tremors.

The land features are said to be related to Yardang though also different from the latter.

Of course, Mushroom Rocks are common in arid and semi-arid areas, especially North Africa, Saudi Arabia and parts of the United States.

However, the most Popular Mushroom Rock is the lone sprouting one found in Algeria, North Africa.

Algeria has many Mushroom rocks and other spectacular desert land formation, but this particular one with a needle thin base, is the one which attracts attention.

But does the mushroom rock have anything to do with cave paintings in the adjacent National Park?

Tassili n’Ajjer which essentially translates into ‘Plateau of rivers,’ is a national park in the Sahara desert.

The Park is located on a vast plateau in southeastern Algeria.

The area boasts some of the most important groupings of prehistoric cave art in the world.

Archaeologists have documented about 15,000 drawings and engravings within the Tassili n’Ajjer region.

Tassili n’Ajjer, covers an area of more than 72,000 square kilometers and the National Park was included among the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1982.

Prehistoric artists carved images of animals, wild and domesticated, as well as plants and people involved in hunting and other daily activities.

However there are also paintings of some strange figures that people call the ‘Round Heads.’

They resemble human figures but with oversized heads who look like they are flying.

The rock paintings of levitating people are said to date back from 9,500 to 7,000 BC.

Ancient drawings also feature masked ‘shaman,’ figures.

These appear to have large mushrooms sprouting from their upper bodies.

Researchers believe that they may be the earliest depictions of the ritual use of psilocybin-producing, psychotropic mushrooms.

But again, maybe the Algerian Desert landscape which used to be an expansive Savannah in the past, could have had many mushroom rocks and these are what the prehistoric painters documented in the caves.

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