Pyramids of Anlong County, China

May 20, 2024 2 comments

These photographs of a mountain range in Anlong County, located in southwest China's Guizhou Province, have captivated netizens. Recently shared footage on social media reveals several mountain peaks resembling Egyptian pyramids, sparking an online debate about their origins. Some speculate that these formations are man-made, potentially concealing the tombs of ancient emperors, while others believe they were created by aliens. However, the reality, though equally astonishing, is more mundane—they are natural formations.

Pyramid-shaped hills in Anlong County, Guizhou, China. 

According to Professor Zhou Qiuwen, a geologist from Guizhou Normal University, these pyramid-like mountains are neither man-made structures nor ancient tomb sites. Instead, they are remarkable examples of nature's artistry.

Guizhou, a province in southwest China, is characterized by numerous mountain ranges with steep peaks and deep valleys extending across the landscape. The mountains in the photographs are part of a karst topography, a landscape shaped by the dissolution of soluble carbonate rocks. These cone-shaped peaks are the result of natural rock formations dissolving over time.

Zhou explained: “The vertical erosion by water has led to the original expansive rock masses being segmented into independent units. As this erosive process continues, the rocks at the top undergo significant dissolution, while those at the base are relatively less affected, resulting in sharp peaks atop wider bases”.

The rocks in Anlong are limestone formations dating back over 200 million years to the early to middle Triassic periods. These rocks were formed in a marine environment, where minerals dissolved in water recrystallized to create distinct layers, influenced by periodic changes in climate and geology.

The brick-like structures observed are also the result of natural erosive sculpting. Zhou elaborated that geological processes in karst landscapes can dissolve layered rocks into smaller blocks, giving the appearance of man-made structures. Small cracks within the rocks allow water to slowly erode them, leading to segmented block-like formations rather than complete dissolution.


  1. I am 80 years old and thought I've seen everything! NEVER heard of these magnificent pyramids. Aren't they just beautiful!? Thanks, Amusing Planet, for giving us an education.

  2. Hello! I am also 80 years old! I am also absolutely amazed by the play of nature!


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