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Nature's Beauty

Lena Pillars Nature Park: Records of Earth’s Heritage

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The Sakha Republic, also known as Yakutia, is in northeastern Siberia, Russia. The capital port city of Yakutsk lies on the Lena River. Yakutsk is said to be the coldest city in the world, with temperatures hovering around minus 40 degrees Celsius in winter for at least three months.

Around 200 kilometers and about four hour’s drive from Yakutsk, a phenomenal natural rock formation solemnly stands along the banks of the Lena River. The Lena Pillars are, according to scientists, 400,000 years old. The vertically elongated rocks are 150 to 300 meters (490 to 984 feet) high. It is composed of stone that was formed during the Cambrian Period between 541 to 485 million years ago, as seas repeatedly rose and receded, sea basins were formed.

Such significant features have aroused international interest in relation to earth science and contributed to the inscription of Lena Pillars Nature Park on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012. Important exposures of Cambrian rock relate untold stories about our planet and the early evolution of life during the entire Cambrian Explosion, which occurred around 541 million years ago. The Cambrian Explosion is generally considered the most important evolutionary event in the history of life on Earth. A vast area of 13,870 square kilometers (5,355 square miles), Lena Pillars Nature Park has a wide range of different landscapes, all exquisitely beautiful.

Forest fires are the biggest threat to the area. In the news in July 2021, it was reported that a heatwave in Yakutsk had sparked forest fires and threatened the city with an “airpocalypse” of thick toxic smoke. The previous year saw the melting of permafrost, causing buildings to collapse due to the unusually prolonged heatwave in the region. Yakutia has the highest-ever recorded temperature in the Arctic Circle and scientists see human-caused climate disruption such as exhaust fumes, industrial emissions, and deforestation, as contributing factors. Remember the best thing that we can all do to stop climate change as individuals is to be vegan – spread the word VEGAN!
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