• Eternal Beauty

With its peculiar size and shape, the Bismantova Stone (Pietra di Bismantova) can be considered the natural jewel of the entire Reggio Emilia Apennines, in northern Italy. The formation of the rocky massif dates back to the Miocene epoch (16-20 million years ago) when layers of bio-calcarenites resting on a base of clay marls formed in a shallow, tropical marine environment. Standing 985 ft (300 m) above the highlands that form its base — it’s 0.62 mi long (1 km) and 787 ft wide (240 m) —  the Bismantova Stone represents a massive example of residual erosion.

To date, several minerals (particularly quartz), mollusk shells, calcareous algae, sponge spicule and fish teeth (mostly from sharks) have been found incorporated both on its walls and on the fallen rocks surrounding this monolith. The photo above shows its south-side, lit by the almost full Moon. Photo taken on January 8, 2020, during a crystal-clear winter evening, one hour after the end of the astronomical twilight.

PUBLICATIONS: the picture has been awarded by USRA (Universities Space Research Association) as “Earth Science Picture of the Day” (EPOD) – link

  • Item #012020 – full range of photographic print sizes are available – order now
  • For using this image in media, websites, or publications please contact me

IT version


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