JEDDAH: The AlUla Desert, home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and remains of human habitation dating back over 200,000 years, has a new rock formation to add to its growing list of natural wonders.
Fish Rock, a 550 million year old formation, was documented by Khaled Al-Enazi, a Saudi Arabian professional photographer from AlUla, in July.
Al-Enazi told Arab News that he enjoys searching for inscriptions, historical and archaeological scripts, as well as strange rock formations, in the deserts of AlUla.
“I quit my job as a police officer to free up my time and practice photography full time,” the 35-year-old said.
Al-Enazi said he found Fish Rock while using a drone to scout the area for possible photo locations.
“I went home to do some editing on the videos I took and was surprised by a weird rock shape that looks pretty much like a giant fish. I decided to come back to the site to a better result,” he said.
Al-Enazi was the first to post his Fish Rock findings, and his video went viral on social media.
AlUla is known for its stunning nature and desert sites, such as Elephant Rock, Hegra, Old City, Al-Diwan, Ikmah, and Dadan Lion Tombs.
Archaeologists believe that many other places and attractions remain to be discovered.
With its golden sands and impressive mountains, the area where the rock formation was discovered is considered one of the most spectacular tourist spots in AlUla.
Saudi geologist Thamir Al-Harbi underscored the scientific significance of the discovery saying, “AlUla is full of exquisite rock formations shaped throughout history by wind, gravity and tectonic movements that have brought us this distinction in the world. desert.
The rock is about 550 million years old and dates back to the Cambro-Ordovician era, he said.
According to Al-Harbi, the rock and its surroundings look like a fish swimming in the ocean or a “petrified submarine in a sea of sand”.
Natural oxidation over millions of years changed the pigmentation of the “fish body” from light brown to dark brown, he said.
AlUla, a global tourist destination in the northwest of the Kingdom, is home to dramatic desert landscapes, dramatic rock formations and some of the most important ancient sites in the Middle East, including those built by the Lihyanite and Nabataean civilizations dating back to 3 000 years.
The city and its surroundings have been described as a marvel of the ancient Arab world and a “living museum”.