Devils Tower Facts

Devils Tower Facts
Devils Tower is an igneous rock intrusion in Wyoming, United States. The rock formation formed when magma from an underground volcano cooled within the earth's crust during the Triassic period, between 225 and 195 years ago. Eventually the softer rock around the formation eroded away and left behind the 1,267 foot tall natural rock monument. It is believed that this occurred between 56 and 66 million years ago. Devils Tower was declared the first United States National Monument in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Devils Tower is located in the Bear Lodge Mountains, and it is also part of the Black Hills. Devils Tower was not the original name. A misinterpretation by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge's interpreter in 1875 during an expedition led to the name Bad God's Tower, and eventually Devils Tower.
Interesting Devils Tower Facts:
The indigenous tribes that lived in North America long before Europeans arrived had a variety of names for Devils Tower.
The Kiowa called it Aloft on a Rock and Tree Rock; the Cheyenne and Crow called it Bear's House, or Bear's Lair; the Crow called it Home of Bears; the Cheyenne and Lakota called it Bear's Lodge; the Lakota called it Bear's Lodge Butte and Grizzly Bear Lodge; and the Cheyenne and Arapaho called it Bear's Tipi.
In a geographic naming standard the apostrophe is eliminated which is why it is called Devils Tower and not Devil's Tower.
In 2005 efforts to rename Devils Tower to make up for the original misinterpretation began. The American Indian tribes pushing for the correction wanted it renamed Bear Lodge National Historical Landmark. Another effort in 2014 has not been met with success either.
There are established climbing routes on Devils Tower for those who wish to attempt to climb it. Some routes are easier than others. Climbing is discouraged in the month of June to respect the local tribes' wishes.
The first people known to have ascended the monument were William Rogers and Willard Ripley.
On the top of Devils Tower are small rodents and chipmunks and vegetation.
Some theories suggest that Devils Tower was once an explosive volcano and all that is left is Devils Tower, or that it is a volcanic plug or even an extinct volcano's neck. Most believe that it is an igneous intrusion.
The rock that makes up Devils Tower continues to erode. Pieces of the rock and sometimes entire columns fall away from the monument, and remnants of this can be seen along its base.
Native folklore of the Lakota and Kiowa states that Devils Tower was formed one day when a couple little girls were out playing. Grizzly bears approached them and the climbed on top of the rock and prayed for the Great Spirit to save them. The rock then rose from the ground so high that the bears could not get to the little girls. As the bears clawed at the rock they left the marks that can be seen today on the Devils Tower's sides. The girls became the constellation Pleiades when they reached the sky. Other tribes have different stories to explain how Devils Tower came to be.


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