China's mythical forest made of stone is spectacular

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China's Mythical Forest Made Of Stone Is Spectacular


There's a famous, mythical-looking forest in China that isn't populated with many trees.

Instead, it is covered by a karst formation, an area comprised of soaring limestone structures worn away by erosion over time.

In fact, the destination known as Shilin, which translates to "stone forest" is believed to be more than 270 million years old.

See photos from the Shilin forest:

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China’s mythical forest made of stone, Shilin
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China's mythical forest made of stone is spectacular
CHINA - MARCH 05: Gray limestone pinnacles, Stone Forest (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1996), Yunnan, China. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
CHINA - MARCH 05: Gray limestone pinnacles, Stone Forest (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1996), Yunnan, China. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
The Stone Forest, near Kunming Grey limestone rock pinnacles across the landscape (Photo by: Eye Ubiquitous/UIG via Getty Images)
ENSHI PREFECTURE, CHINA - APRIL 25: (CHINA OUT) Tujia ethnic minority girls walk out of the Shilin (Stone Forest) at the Suobuya Scenic Area on April 25, 2007 in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Hunan Province, China. The Stone Forest, covering about 21 square kilometers, on an altitude about 900 metres is formed by the rain's corrasion on the limestones. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
China, Yunnan Province, Shilin, Stone Forest Shilin Yi near Lunan and Kunming. (Photo by: Eye Ubiquitous/UIG via Getty Images)
Visitors walk through Shilin ( or the Stone Forest in English) on Saturday, Feb. 20, 1999, 79 miles from Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. The 200-acre Stone Forest is a remarkably unique geological phenomenon of karst limestone pillars resembling a forest. It is one of China's most famous scenic spots. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Chinese tourists make their way through the strange landscape known as the Forest of Stone at Shilin, about 50 miles from Kunming in China's Yunnan Province, 1980. This natural wonder was created by water erosion and the shifting of the earth's crust in prehistoric times, when it was covered by a vast sea. The area is now a mile above sea level. (AP Photo/Dick Fung)
ENSHI PREFECTURE, CHINA - APRIL 25: (CHINA OUT) A view of the Shilin (Stone Forest) at the Suobuya Scenic Area on April 25, 2007 in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Hunan Province, China. The Stone Forest, covering about 21 square kilometers, on an altitude about 900 metres, is formed by the rain's corrasion on the limestones. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
The Stone Forest is in Lunan Yi Nationality Autonomous County, 75 miles from Kunming, The Stone Forests are a typical example of karst topography, during the carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era, the region was a vast expanse of sea in time the movements of the lithosphere gradually caused a retreat of the waters and the rise of the limestone landscape, China. (Photo by: MyLoupe/UIG via Getty Images)
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A focal point that continues to draw attention is called the Ashima Stone which is a jutting structure that appears to have a square-ish piece balanced on top.

It is believed to be the figure of a girl named Ashima who was turned to stone in the forest after being denied marriage to her love.

In addition to the various tower shapes including those resembling swords and mushrooms, the large area also features caves, sinkholes, waterfalls, and an underground river.

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