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The Best View of the Grand Canyon

a giant chasm bigger than anything on

the North American continent a place so

daunting at scale no American had yet

managed a journey into its depths a

place now known as the Grand Canyon

today visitors come to its rim to be

thrilled and unnerved

but when early European travelers first

stood here they simply could not

comprehend the canyons enormous scale

while scientists still don't know

exactly how the canyon was created they

do know that his story stretches back

more than one and a half billion years

thanks to colorful layers of rock but

are now exposed in the canyons walls

the oldest of these is a black rock

known as vishnu schist

it was created from deposits of volcanic

ash mud and sand that washed down from

ancient mountains in the hundreds of

millions of years that followed oceans

deserts and swamps came and went across

this part of Arizona leaving behind more

layers of sedimentary rock so many that

they created a giant plateau

just 250 million years ago the youngest

layer in the canyons walls was laid down

it's a light-colored stone known as Chi

bad limestone it was only after these

deep and colorful rock layers were

formed but the Colorado River started

carving a giant Canyon through the

plateaus floor

feeding it with thousands of tributaries

that eroded the landscape even more and

helped expose the colorful layers below

to create this giant chasm which reaches

in places 18 miles from rim to rim

it's a process of erosion that continues

a process that's created some of the

canyons greatest landmarks from towering

rock pinnacles near temple Butte to deep

geological scars known as the Hindu

empathy tur and soaring above the tower

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