December 24, 2008
This photo of old Santa was taken June 29, 2008 in the City of Rocks, Almo, Idaho. At the right angle, this outcrop looks like an old fashion Santa -- from another angle it could be a gnome. Up close, though, it's just a collage of rocks shapes. Our brains sometimes create recognizable objects from inanimate random objects. This phenomenon is known as pareidolia.
These huge granite rocks are ideal for rock climbing and the City of Rocks has a number of rock faces making it a popular destination for rock climbers from all over the world. Some rock pillars are 2.5 billion years old! The City of Rocks was also a landmark along the Oregon Trail for pioneers who were headed for California.