The huge boulder named Al Naslaa rock formation is made of sandstone and is located in the Tayma oasis in northwestern Saudi Arabia
A huge rock with a perfectly straight split in the middle has excited conspiracy theorists trying to figure out how it happened.
The huge boulder named Al Naslaa rock formation is made of sandstone and is located in the Tayma oasis in northwestern Saudi Arabia.
The rock is 9 m high and 7 m wide and has a carving depicting a man on a horse.
However, it’s not the engravings on the rock that draw the crowds – it’s the split in the middle that everyone is really interested in.
Rock itself has split opinions with some Reddit users responsible for joking aliens.
One user said, “I’m not saying they were aliens, but they were aliens.”
“Aliens, by all means,” agreed another.
Their reasoning was mainly that the split was so precise and smooth that it must have been the result of an alien visit to Earth in the distant past.
This team of supernatural believers speculated that the rift may have arisen when an alien “fiddled with a super laser pointer with a super laser pointer on a random planet his species found and accidentally cut a rock in half” .
A Joker seemed to have come to terms with an alien takeover and paraphrased a classic Simpsons quote: “For my part, I welcome our new rock laser alien overlords”.
However, according to geologist Cherry Lewis, the fission is actually a natural phenomenon, suggesting that it was likely caused by freeze-thaw weathering.
Ms. Lewis, a University of Bristol Volunteer Research Fellow, said MailOnline : ‘It [the split] could have been caused by a process called “freeze-thaw” weathering, which occurs when water enters a small crack in the rock.
“When the temperature drops, the water freezes and expands, causing the crack to widen and lengthen.
“When the ice melts, the water penetrates deeper and deeper into the crack.”
The process then repeated, Ms. Lewis said, over thousands or even millions of years before the rock eventually split.
“This process, coupled with wind erosion – which is like sandblasting in a desert environment – could also explain why the boulder stands up on its own.”