Photos of new geologic formation become a social media sensation.
An outfitter and hunting guide service operating out of the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming stumbled across a unique geologic formation.
They came across a huge, newly-formed crack in the earth approximately 50 yards wide and 750 yards long.
“This giant crack in the earth appeared in the last two weeks on a ranch we hunt in the Bighorn Mountains,” SNS Outfitter & Guides wrote on their Facebook page. “Everyone here is calling it ‘the gash.’ It’s a really incredible sight.”
The photos became an instant viral sensation as people began speculating on what could have caused the formation about ten miles south of the tiny town of Ten Sleep. Theories about the crack being a sign of an imminent eruption of the Yellowstone super volcano some 150 miles to the northwest began to run rampant.
But the unique formation appears to have nothing to do with volcanic activity. The Wyoming Geological Survey eventually weighed in and said it was likely the results of a slow-moving landslide.
“A number of things trigger them, moisture in the subsurface which causes weakness in soil or geology, and any process that would weaken the bedrock or unstabilize it somehow,” Wyoming Geological Survey Manager Seth Wittke told the Powell Tribune.
SNS Outfitter and Guides later posted again about the crack, stating that an engineer came out to investigate and said the crack was the result of a spring lubricating across a cap rock, which eventually caused the earth at the bottom of the crack to slide out.
Whatever the case may be, the crack is an awesome display of earth’s natural processes.