Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Australia, 1996

Rising from the hot red soil, this monolith at once both looks like an alien creation, dropped from above and an integral part of an otherwise repetitive landscape.

In fact, it is both. Composed of a particularly hard form of sandstone, the areas around it have been eroded to reveal this simple yet beautiful feature in the heart of the island continent.

Famed for its chameleon-like ability to subtly shift colors, it's a thousand feet from the foot to the summit, a challenging climb for most people, but well worth the effort. Around its base are plaques for but a few of those who have died trying to climb it over the years, mostly of heart attacks brought on by the exertion, though there are a few accidental, but fatal slips and even one or two suicides.

Also see Australia.

Last updated: Jun,