An extensive, scant desert landscape surrounds the Petrified Forest National Park, east of Arizona. In the middle of the desert-like Badlands is one of the USA’s most remarkable geological treasures, the Petrified Forest. Two million years ago, this region was a swampland inhabited by various species of dinosaur. The Forest covers an area of approximately 378 square kilometres and the outstanding petrifactions can be found throughout.
Numerous fossilized sections of trees lie scattered across the desert and date back to prehistoric times when the surrounding highlands were covered with dense forest.
Powerful torrential rivers carried the broken, dead tree trunks into a vast swampland where they sank deep into the morass and became hermetically sealed while additional layers of sediment built up on the trunks. Thus normal decomposition was halted and the wood retained various minerals.
The largest fossilized tree sections that have been discovered in the Petrified Forest indicate that they date back to the time of the dinosaurs and stood up to sixty metres high.
Like divine Indian arrows and the bones of a legendary giant, the petrified wood is truly like something from another world.