Uluṟu is the aboriginal name of the Australia's largest rock massif, which immediately catches the eye for its characteristic color, a beautiful red that changes hue depending on the time of day and the seasons.
The massif, which has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1987, is located in the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuta National Park, a sacred place for Aborigines, whose Red, strange to say, it depends on the rust due to the oxidation of the iron of which it is mainly made up.
The changing color effects instead depend on minerals such as feldspar, which reflect red light. Furthermore, behind the surface of the massif which appears smooth, there are springs, caves, pools and even rock paintings, very interesting, some even dating back thousands of years.
In short, a majestic massif that is not actually a monolith but is formed by two other mountains, that of Kata Tjuta and Mount Conner, and which overall it is considered sacred and so fascinating that it enchants anyone lucky enough to see it.
Uluru Massif. Source: iStock / Manakin
The aborigines of Australia have many myths that speak of Uluṟu, for example that of Tatji, the Red Lizard, who is said to have inhabited the plains and who, arriving there, threw his kali into the rock. To find it, he dug the earth by creating round holes on the surface. The myth thus explains the formation of corrosion phenomena present on the massif.
Another myth tells of two bellbird brothers, birds that hunted an emu, which escaped to Uluru where it was found and killed by two lizardmen. It is said that the flesh of the slain emus gave birth to some of the boulders present on the massif. The myth goes on to tell that the bellbird brothers, arrived on site, set fire to the lizard men after they offered them only a piece of meat. The lizardmen, trying to escape, fell from the massif and burned alive: today they are two half-buried boulders, while the gray lichens on the surface of Uluṟu would be the trace of the smoke of the fire.
But these are just two of the myths that concern him, there are many others and some of them are totally secret, at least for non-Aborigines.
Truly an incredible and unmistakable place thanks to its bright red color!
Uluru Massif. Source: iStock / lucamato