Double Spiral Lichen

July 21, 2023

PariaPlateauLichenSpiralGroup

PariaPlateauLichenWithPhoneParia

Photographer: Stan Wagon

Summary Author: Stan Wagon

The lichen shown in the two photos above, in the shape of a symmetric double spiral, was found on the Paria Plateau in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument of Arizona. The sandstone is Navajo sandstone. One expert suggests that this lichen is in the Sarcogyne genus. I've been unable to find any information as to why it should erode into such a nearly perfect spiral form. I was surprised to find dozens of spirals like this, all about the same size and shape. For more information on sandstone lichens see the article by Jeff Mitton.
 
Photo details (both photos): SONY A6500 camera; 19 mm lens; ISO 100; f13; 1/320 second exposure.
 
 
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona Coordinates: 36.8625, -111.8270
 
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