An astronaut took a fascinating photo from the International Space Station (ISS) of an extraordinary natural phenomenon — a huge geological shape resembling a skull, which seems to be looking into space from the surface of the Earth.
This object was photographed on February 12, 2023, when the ISS flew over the Tibesti massif — a mountain range stretching through the center of the Sahara Desert through the territories of Chad and Libya. But NASA released this impressive photo only on October 31, timing it for the Halloween holiday. The image was taken using a Nikon D5 digital camera with a lens having a focal length of 500 mm.
At first glance, it may seem that this is a creepy giant skull. But in fact, it is a volcanic crater of unusual shape, hidden in the heart of the Sahara Desert. It is located at the bottom of the Trou au Natron crater, also known as Doon Orei. The “skull” is about a kilometer in size and originated as a result of a powerful volcanic eruption that occurred thousands of years ago.
The part similar to the “face” of the skull is formed by shadows from the edge of the crater formed as a result of an explosion or collapse of the surface after partial emptying of the magma chamber. The “eyes” and “nose” of this are cinder cones — steep conical formations that arise around volcanic vents.
The specific white color of the mouth, nose and left cheek of the “skull” is associated with the natron mineral crust. Natron is a natural salt mixture consisting of sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, and sodium sulfate. The dark area to the left of the “face” is the shadow cast by the high edge of the crater.
The exact date and time of the formation of Trou au Natron remain unknown. However, experts believe that it happened about 14 thousand years ago, when the area was quite densely populated and completely covered by the lake.
Earlier we showed the most creepy objects in the Universe.
According to NASA
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