It looks like wood… but it feels like stone. What is it?

This may look like just an ordinary piece of a tree, but if you were to touch it, it would feel hard and cold, exactly like stone.

This National Park located near Flagstaff, Arizona is full of wood that is hard to the touch like stone. Several other different locations put this National Park on the map. The Newspaper Rock is one of them. On this rock, there are drawings and paintings and engravings from several generations of people. There are handprints, drawings of animals and people and other interesting things. Unfortunately, but for the sake of preserving it, you cannot go near there, instead, using large binoculars that you can find there, you can zoom in on the rock and stare closely.

The Newspaper Rock up close, we did not take this ourselves, source National Park Service.

Another interesting part of the National Park is the Painted Mesa, rocks that are so red that they look like they are painted. There is one certain group that we drove by (we would have stopped, but it was raining) that was the colors of the US flag, red, white and blue.

Red white and blue, nice and colorful, and it’s really cool that it has the US colors. It’s like a giant, hard flag!
You can see the red rocks in the distance.

And now, to reveal what the wood-stone thing is. Some of you may have already known this, but for those who didn’t, the answer is petrified wood. It’s basically a fossil of wood, wood that over time, got transformed into stone. Inside most of these, there is crystals, mostly just geodes formed by the log soaking up water and minerals. The petrified wood looks like it was cut with a chainsaw, but it’s actually just natural, believe it or not. The wood is also smooth, like somebody polished it, but you can clearly see that it was wood, and clearly feel that it’s stone now. This is another very interesting National Park (called Petrified Forest National Park) that I would recommend to visit. From ancient wood to 100 year old (or more) handprints on a rock to rocks that seem like they’re painted (even some US flag rocks), this National Park is full of excitement, history and surprises.

Most of the petrified wood has crystals in it.
And the crystals can be many different colors.
Red, orange, yellow and purple (yeah, completely different) are iron, the gray is manganese and the white is quartz.
We saw a beautiful rainbow after the rain subsided. It started again later.
This is one of the largest pieces of petrified wood in the whole park! It’s really big.
What’s this? A cave in the ground? Nope, it’s a bridge made out of a petrified log!
A far away picture of the camper van.

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