Going Deep- Six Unknown Facts About The Grand Canyon

Six Unknown Facts About The Grand Canyon

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As a kid I had always imagined The Grand Canyon as the backdrop of an old John Wayne movie. When I finally got the chance to experience it in person a couple of summers ago, it blew all expectations out of the water. There are a few sights you will/should see in your life that you literally can not look away from. Its gravitation beauty and vastness makes The Grand Canyon is one of them.

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1. The Grand Canyon is not the deepest canyon in the world.

Clocking in around 7800 feet at its deepest point, The Grand Canyon is the deepest canyon in North America, but not the world. The Yarlung Tsango Grand Canyon in the Himalayas has it beat by nearly ten thousand feet, coming in at 17567 feet deep.

2. A canyon plane crash birthed the FFA (Federal Aviation Association) 

In the 1950s planes would often take longer scenic routes to get better views of the canyon. In 1956 two planes, one from Los Angeles and one from Chicago both requested to have the air space over the canyon at the same time. They collided over the canyon killing everyone on board and subsequently the FFA was formed to prevent any further miscommunications in the air.

3. The canyon reveals 40% of the earths history

The Colorado River cuts through a type of metamorphic rock called Schist that is nearly 1.75 billion years old. Geologist study the record of the earths history contained in the sedimentary rocks blanketing the Vishnu Schist. The canyons sediments have gone unaltered for near 230 million years. Although no dinosaur bones have ever been found inside of the canyon, many fossils and other signs of life, including 11,000 year old sloth bones, have been discovered in caves and canyon walls.

4. In 80 years of records nearly 100 people have died in the canyon

From 1925 to 2005 a recorded 53 people fell from the canyons walls to their deaths. Another 43 others died from other causes in the canyon.

5. The canyon houses its own species of rattlesnakeb47108da3a1b9ee8d0119ced27971128

Their are 6 species of Rattlesnake found inside the canyon, but the Grand Canyon Pink Rattlesnake has adapted to its surroundings. It has a slightly pink skin tone which it uses to blend in with the surrounding reddish/pink rocks. It is the most commonly found species of Rattlesnake found in the canyon

6. The canyon has its own official web camera

Though you won’t see much going on, it does indeed offer a small piece of what its like to look upon the canyon. The camera points North from the southern rim at Yavapai Point and on a clear day you can see up to 225 miles. The camera also gives you some other useful information such as temp, wind speed, humidity and precipitation, helpful when planning a hike. If you would like to take a look you can view it Here.

More resources for traveling to the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon, North and South Rims [Grand Canyon National Park] (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map)

Lonely Planet Grand Canyon National Park (Travel Guide)

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9 Comments

  1. We went to GCNP (South Rim) last year and it exceeded my expectations! I enjoyed your post bc I nerded out at the Yawapui (forgot how to spell it) Geology Museum before we hiked down. Sooooo much info that made the hike more interesting along the way.
    Looking forward to more travel posts here!

    1. Thank you! The GC blew my mind the first time i saw it, I stared at it for about 9 hours as we hiked around the southern rim. I plan on visiting the northern side as soon as I can, I’ve heard that its more green and a little different. Glad you enjoy 🙂

  2. You capture the sentiment one feels upon visiting the Grand Canyon perfectly. I had no real interest in going, but when we did finally go to the Grand Canyon, it was the most see-inspiring sight. Love it.

  3. Thanks for letting me know about your post…it adds some new perspectives and reflections to my experience at the GC. I really like the fact about the GC revealing 40% of earth’s history. Glad I didn’t have to deal with the pink rattlesnake though…I got bit by a snake when I was in high school, so you can imagine I don’t need to see those creatures, GC specialty or not! 🙂

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