Friday, December 25, 2009

Stars Valley


Qeshm Island (Darreh Setaregan) is located a few kilometers off the southern coast of Iran, opposite the port cities of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Khamir. The island, which hosts a 300 square kilometer free zone jurisdiction, is 135 kilometers long and lies strategically in the Strait of Hormuz. The island, at its widest point, located near the center of the island, spans 40 kilometers. Similarly, at it narrowest point, the island spans 9.4 kilometers. The island has a surface are of 1,491 square kilometers and the closest point of the island is all but two kilometers from the mainland. Qeshm is also a supposed site of the Garden of Eden. The island comprises 59 towns and villages and the population is approximately 100,000. The local population is involved in fishing, dhow construction, trade and services.


Stars Valley is a natural consequence of wind erosion and rainstorm washing out from the Cenozoic period (2 million years ago) up to now. The valley is located in Berkeh Khalaf Village, about 15 kilometers distance from Qeshm City, Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf. It is a magnificent gallery of natural features, in a depth of 7 to 15 meters below the original plateau, including columns, sharp cones, arches and edges all made from sand and natural cement. Based on locals' beliefs, the valley was formed after the falling of a star many centuries ago; the name of valley is a reference to that incident. Due to the specific shape and arrangement of columns, wind made noise is audible throughout the valley, inducing a mysterious mood. The latter makes locals to believe in ghost traffic through the valley; they avoid entering to the valley during the evening and night.


Stars Valley site is made up of soft sediment layers, erosion mechanisms and weathering. On the other hand, emergence of masses like needle columns, vertical walls, bridges, and various cavities have added to its natural attraction. As a result of the softness of the various layers forming these natural shapes, it is not unheard of for the overall shape of the area to slightly vary after rainfall.


Although this site is located out of the Qeshm geo-park area, considering the region’s uniqueness and its specific geo-morphological structure, it is affirmed by UNESCO as one of the main sites of the geo-park.

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