The ‘Real’ Story of Wyoming’s Devils Tower [Video]
We've heard a number of stories about the origin of Wyoming's Devils Tower. Here's the one I'm going with, maybe to tell kids some day. This came from Native Americans.
Little girls were playing in the forest when giant bears started chasing them. The girls ran to jump on a boulder, and started praying. The rock then began to grow up toward the sky, putting distance between the girls and the bears. It's said that the cracks and columns on Devils Tower came from the claws of bears trying to climb the tower.
Have you ever heard any better explanation for how this behemoth is out in an area of nothing more than rolling grasslands, and ponderosa pines near Sundance?
Geologists say they have determined Devils Tower was actually formed as a result of a volcano and the cooling magma created the strange delineation of columns.
The oldest rocks visible in Devils Tower National Monument were laid down in a shallow inland sea. This sea covered much of the central and western United States during Triassic time, 225 to 195 million years ago. This dark red sandstone and maroon siltstone, interbedded with shale, can be seen along the Belle Fourche River. Oxidation of iron rich minerals causes the redness of the rocks.
The edges of the tower are continuously being eroded. Eventually, mother nature will whittle away more and more. But luckily, we live in a time we can enjoy its great splendor.