kids encyclopedia robot

Badlands Guardian facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Area around Badlands Guardian
Badlands Guardian in 1938, before the creation of the road that resembles the earphones.

The Badlands Guardian is a geomorphological feature located near Medicine Hat in the southeast corner of Alberta, Canada. Viewed from the air, the feature has been said to resemble a human head wearing a full Indigenous type of headdress, facing directly westward. Additional man-made structures have been said to resemble a pair of earphones worn by the figure. The apparent earphones are a road and an oil well, which were installed recently and are expected to disappear once the project is abandoned. Its scale is much larger than the figures of Mount Rushmore.

The head is a drainage feature created through erosion of soft, clay-rich soil by the action of wind and water. The arid badlands are typified by infrequent but intense rain-showers, sparse vegetation and soft sediments. The 'head' may have been created during a short period of fast erosion immediately following intense rainfall. Although the image appears to be a convex feature, it is actually concave – that is, a valley, which is formed by erosion on a stratum of clay, and is an instance of the Hollow-Face illusion. Its age is estimated to be in the hundreds of years at a minimum.

The feature was discovered in 2005 by Lynn Hickox on Google Earth.

In 2006 suitable names were canvassed by CBC Radio One program As It Happens. Out of 50 names submitted, seven were suggested to the Cypress County Council. They altered the suggested 'Guardian of the Badlands' to become Badlands Guardian.

The Badlands Guardian was also described by the Sydney Morning Herald as a "net sensation". PCWorld magazine has referred to the formation as a "geological marvel". The Guardian was also covered by Canada's Global Television. It is listed as the seventh of the top ten Google Earth finds by Time Magazine.

kids search engine
Badlands Guardian Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.