Cracked Eggs of the Bisti Badlands

January 08, 2021

Cracked Eggs

Photographer: Thomas McGuire
Summary Author: Thomas McGuire

As followers of Earth Science Picture of the Day have seen, the American West has some of the world's most spectacular features. Badlands are areas where active erosion of soft sediments has created a stark landscape largely devoid of vegetation. Rapid erosion hasn't allowed plants to take root and develop fertile soil. Badlands National Park in South Dakota and Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona are prime examples of badlands. The remote Bisti Badlands of northwest New Mexico are far less visited, but they contain a variety of unique geological features including hoodoos, arches, toadstools, petrified wood and other fossils. Not the least of which is a patch of weathered concretions known as the cracked eggs. A friend pointed out the similarity of the boulders on the left to the iconic drawing ("Reptiles" by M.C.Esher) in which tessellations become animated. Photo taken February 28, 2017.