These Chinese mountains look fake. (Spoiler Alert: they’re not.)

Zhangye Danxia mountains

mountains in Zhangye, China.

These Chinese mountains, dubbed “God’s Paint Palette,” apparently got spray-painted in some serious 60’s tie-dye vibes. But even though they look like they were made from one of those nostalgic kids’ sand art kits, these beauties are actually naturally occurring!

Sand Art in Recycled Containers


You can see this phenomenon at the Zhangye Daxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu Province, China. According to The Telegraph, the gorgeous coloring of these rocks were made gradually over millions of years–red sandstone and mineral deposits have been laid down, then buckled by tectonic plate action (the same plates that have given us part of the Himalayan mountains!), topped off with years of erosion to create the unique shapes that stand today. Color me impressed.

A Youtube user named Nina compiled a video of the park along with some additional background information in case you’re interested in some more shots of this beauty!

All I want to know is…why couldn’t the Grand Canyon have gotten some of this action? 🙂



(featured images via and via.)

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About Mia McMahon

I’m constantly trying to learn more in everything from branding to social media to user experience to SEO. I live-tweet a lot. I’m studying communications/marketing/internet entrepreneurship and you can follow my journey at

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