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250 million-year-old cobra rock topples in Southern Utah

250-Million-Year-Old Iconic Rock Has Fallen


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A towering red sandstone formation prized by rock climbers has fallen in southern Utah.


It was known as The Cobra, carved by wind and rain into a snaking ascent with a flat top.

Officials don't know when the rock fell on public lands near Moab, Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Megan Crandall said.

"It's sad and it's unfortunate," she said, recounting that officials have kept in mind that "those same forces that made it eventually would contribute to its demise," she told the Associated Press.

They believe the structure tumbled in a series of storms last week. No one reported seeing the collapse and no injuries were reported.

The formation was open to climbers and hikers until it broke from its narrow base. One of many nearby hoodoos, or sandstone pillars, it was considered safe and not in immediate danger of toppling.

"It wasn't like it was teetering or tottering or anything like that," Crandall said.

Moab-based climber Lisa Hathaway has scaled the formation several times, she told the Salt Lake Tribune.

It's long been an April Fools' Day tradition in Moab to say that the tenuous formation had collapsed. So when word spread online in recent days that the tower had fallen, some people hesitated to believe the news.

"It was really a surprise to no one that that tower, at least the cap rock, was going to come off at some point in time," Hathaway said in a Monday statement.

The Cobra had been a popular climbing spot, she said, because it was accessible and not too high of a climb.

It's not the first time in recent memory that such a feature has fallen due to natural causes; Crandall says another towering rock fell in 2008 in Arches National Park. A 12-foot slab of sandstone fell in July in the same park, the Deseret News reported.

Moab and surrounding lands are known as a playground for mountain bikers, rafters and extreme sports enthusiasts.

Related:
Arches National Park
Best Hiking Trails in the United States
Famous Rocks Across the United States

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
swkykhk August 06 2014 at 3:24 PM

Someone needs to pull wiley coyote out from under it..beep beep.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
4 replies
Bernie August 06 2014 at 3:38 PM

Of course why would we think for a minute that all the scaling and climbing on that was done for all those years had anything at all to do with it’s eventual demise….. just another example of the continued abuse of nature for our pleasure and ego trips….

Flag Reply +8 rate up
7 replies
Oscar August 06 2014 at 5:25 PM

Hmm...Were those 2 ex-scout leaders, Glen Taylor and David Hall anywhere around? The ones in the Goblin Valley State Park ancient rock toppling?

Flag Reply +8 rate up
bbnpl4545 August 06 2014 at 5:06 PM

A towering red sandstone formation prized by rock climbers has fallen. Do to too many climbing spikes being pounded into it.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
3 replies
delraythumper August 06 2014 at 6:04 PM

250 million years old?? Bull !! Every gud ol boy down at our Snowbird Evangelical Baptist Church of Gay Damnation & Rattlesnake Salvation knows Earth is only 5,000 years old. Our evangelical educational documentary, "The Flintstones," clearly shows Fred, Barney, Wilma, Betty and BamBam living with their dinosaurs only 5,000 years ago. Can I get a "Say amen, baybeeeejeeeezer" from the congregation?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
2 replies
jljonesleisure delraythumper August 06 2014 at 7:49 PM

Delraythumper, you are a buffoon and most likely wear Obama underwear and have a sea turtle decal on your mini van....

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
PERFORATOR jljonesleisure August 07 2014 at 12:02 AM

Ha Ha! That's gonna leave a mark!

Flag 0 rate up
tony delraythumper August 07 2014 at 1:21 AM

no don trumperr, thou can`t.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
CHUCK August 06 2014 at 6:44 PM

Probably knock down be a boy scout leader to keep it from falling on someone.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
tony CHUCK August 07 2014 at 1:33 AM

Probably knock down be a boy scout leader to keep it from falling on someone.

Be???? chucky, what in the name of all that be holy is thee flapping about?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
hpycmpr155 CHUCK August 07 2014 at 6:45 AM

My very first thought!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Lancer8r August 06 2014 at 4:31 PM

George Bush did it.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
swkykhk August 06 2014 at 4:28 PM

If a rock falls in the woods does it make a noise?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
3 replies
delta dagger August 07 2014 at 12:51 AM

let us not forget"ole man of the mtn" in N.H. which collapsed some yrs back>picture of it was embossed on N.H.license plates for ages."What nature creates,it also taketh away"

Flag Reply +2 rate up
bh1929 August 06 2014 at 5:13 PM

Cobra Rock bites the big one.....

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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