Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Get your ass to Mars

Went to Mars today. Check it out!

Alright, it was Yehliu, not Mars, but walking through the so-called mushroom, ginger, shallow tray and candle rocks of this totally excellent Miocene cape felt even more extraterrestrial than Taiwan does normally. Especially when I tint it purple like that.

It also demonstrates why smug Stewart Lee is probably incorrect in his theory that walking in space would leave you desensitised to Planet Earth's wonders - there's plenty of crazy shit down here.

Anyway, space is probably really boring. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to walk in space, and in the event of an oxygen leak or horrific Alien bursting out of John Hurt's stomach and picking off me and my fellow cosmonauts one by one, I'd be happy to die out there too. But I wouldn't want to live there. After the initial excitement had worn off, even somewhere as extraordinary as Mars would start to get old after a couple of days, when you realised it didn't really live up to the hype. A bit like Athens in that respect. Athens is the Mars of Europe.

Yehliu Geopark

The Queen's Head

Holy pareidolia, would you look at that! This rock looks like nothing so much as a Queen's Head! There's no way this could be a coincidence or a result of the human evolutionary tendency to ascribe anthropomorphised characteristics to random stimuli.

Well done Dave, you're even annoying me now. To their credit, the Taiwanese don't seem to have jumped on the pareidolia bandwagon in proclaiming this coincidental limestone formation to have any significance beyond simply looking cool (it's no Face on Mars, that's for sure). But this comforting rationalism won't stop me hijacking another seemingly innocent travel blog with a coldly sceptical agenda!

Not so impressive from the other side are you, huh? Um, Your Majesty

Other names given to the various hoodoo stones jutting out of the Martian Yehliu Geopark include 'Ice Cream Rock' (which looks like nothing so much as a rock), 'Romeo' and 'Juliet' (two dissimilar rocks that happen to be in close proximity to each other) and 'Cute Princess.' Admittedly, this last one is really hot (for a rock).

Unfortunately, I failed to see the prescribed likeness in any of these, so thought I'd name a few of my own in the interests of accuracy and scatology.

The Bottom

The Front Bottom

The Rabbit's Head (see, they're not all disgusting/sexist)

The Broken Heart / The Division Bell

Those Bird Doors From Super Mario Bros 2

Joseph Merrick's Face

I give up, I can't see anything in this one.
(Who didn't see that coming?)

Enough cynicism, here are more cool photos of Yehliu to use up your bandwidth and broaden your mind.

Candle rocks

Life on Mars (Note: Colours may not be genuine)

The 'Other' Queen's Head (a.k.a. The Burn Victim)

You have to admire Taiwan's determination to personify all their tourist attractions into insufferably cute cartoon characters. I say 'admire'...

You can't tell, but I'm really enjoying myself. Get your ass to Yehliu!

1 comment:

  1. the bottom???? The front bottom??? HAHAHAHHAHA! you are super hilarious! i didn't see that coming....really.....glad u enjoyed "MARS"!