Huge ‘fish-shaped rock’ emerges from desert in northern Saudi Arabia
The use of drones to photograph and record the world’s landscapes sometimes shows us true hidden wonders like this one in Saudi Arabia.
This is the case with this huge rock, whose whimsical shape resembles a large fish — or even a submarine — emerging from the sands of the Saudi desert.
The images were captured last June by photographer Khaled Al Enazi while documenting the archaeological treasures of Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula County, an area known for ancient structures that rival Jordan’s pink city of Petra.
“While documenting the area, a view of a mountain loomed in front of me, its shape suggesting a fish in the heart of the desert,” he told CNN Travel via email.
Al Enazi noted that he is probably not the first person to encounter the rock formation, but he believes its aerial perspective means he was the first to notice its curious silhouette with dorsal fin-like structures.
These unique characteristics led the photographer to rightly decide to name his find “Desert Fish”.
Since the images were shared, imaginative users on social media have even gone so far as to suggest that the rocks are actually the remains of a giant sea beast.
“Some have mentioned that it’s a real fish that fossilized millions of years ago, but that’s not the case,” he said. “It is sandstone formed by many factors.”
Covering almost 22,500 square kilometers, the Saudi city of Al-Ula is home to stunning desert landscapes. It was in this area that the ancient Nabataeans established their main southern city, Lihyan.
Likewise, north of the Al-Ula Valley, in Mada’in Saleh, they carved spectacular tombs into rocky outcrops that are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Some of Al-Ula’s rocks, sculpted by the elements, have taken on impressively sculptural and human forms. For example, a rock known locally as Jabal Al-Fil is famous for its resemblance to an elephant.