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The Pride of Arizona

May 31, 2008
According to Wikipedia, as of July 1, 2006, Arizona recorded the most growth in population. It has exceeded the levels of Nevada which was once the fastest growing state in the U.S.

Notable Tourist Attractions in Arizona

There are more than 10 major tourist attractions in Arizona. Among the most notable are the Montezuma Castle National Monument, the Grand Canyon National Park, and the Barringer Meteorite Crater. The last is not a national monument or a national park, as it is still privately owned by the family of Daniel Barringer.

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is a World Heritage site declared by the UNESCO. It is a natural history monument, as the colorful sediments of its rocky outgrowth date back up to Precambrian times. Viewing the Grand Canyon's rocks is like viewing through the Earth's history itself.

For millions of years, the Colorado River and its tributaries cut through the Colorado Plateaus and exposed layers and layers of sediment. The channel is over 277 miles long, and has a variable width anywhere from 4 miles to 18 miles. From the topmost ridge, the Grand Canyon is over 1 mile deep.

President Theodore Roosevelt frequently visited the Grand Canyon area, and was one of the driving forces in seeking to designate the area as a National Park. The late President frequented the Canyon for mountain lion hunting or simply to enjoy the sights the Canyon had to offer. Because of his efforts along with other people, the Grand Canyon was first declared a national monument on January 11, 1908. 11 years later, it attained national park status.

Montezuma Castle National Monument

The Montezuma Castle National Monument is considered the last evidence of occupation by the Pre-Columbian Sinagua people. It is a five-story cliff dwelling, with 20 rooms made of stone and mortar. It is believed to house about 50 inhabitants, with a larger settlement in the other part of the cliff which unfortunately has not survived.

It is not known for whom the castle was named. The European American discoverers of the settlement note that traditions say the divine hero Montezuma built the cliff dwellings for the Sinagua people. Montezuma is a hero-god in the mythology of the American Indian tribes of Southwest United States, and is mistakenly attributed to two historical Aztec emperors named Montezuma.

One can also find the Montezuma Well 11 miles northeast of the Montezuma Castle National Monument. The well is natural limestone sinkhole which issues about 1.4 million gallons of highly carbonated water. It has been in use for irrigation purposes since the 8th century, with part of the prehistoric canal preserved for public view. Parts of the original Hohokam canal are still even used today.

The Well is considered sacred by the Yavapai people, and is home to at least 5 species including a diatom, springtail, water scorpion, amphipod and leech.

Barringer's Meteor Crater

The meteor crater is the impact site of a 300,000-tone nickel-iron smashing into the Earth 50,000 years ago. The meteorite was about 50 meters across, and the impact created a crater 1,200 meters wide and 170 meter deep.

Scientists say that the impact had a force of at least 2.5 megatons of TNT. The explosion was about 150 times more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. Authorities have not agreed to the speed at which the meteorite hit the ground. Some say it was at 20 kilometers per second or about 45,000 miles per hour, while others propose that the speed was slower, at 12.8 kilometers per second or 28,600 miles per hour.

When mining engineer Daniel M. Barringer purchased the crater, he proposed a theory that the crater was created by the impact of a large iron-metallic meteorite. To test the theory, Barringer and his company conducted tests. The tests confirmed the creation of the creator through a violent impact, although Barringer did not find any remains of the meteorite because the majority of the celestial body vaporized during its entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Barringer's theories were met with skepticism, but were later accepted by the general scientific society during the 1950s due to the efforts of Professor Herman Leroy Fairchild. A later research by Eugene M. Shoemaker confirmed the theory when rare forms of silica were found at the crater. These silica forms only appear when quartz rocks receive tremendous shock from the impact of a huge meteorite.

Advantages of Living in Arizona

Living in Arizona gives you easier access and close proximity to these and other national parks in the state, compared to people living in nearby and farther states. If you are looking for real estate properties in the state of Arizona, visit this web site: ArizonaAtoZ
About the Author
Attila Z Jancsina is a freelance copy writer. He occasionally writes for Arizona Real Estate. Website offers Free FSBO advertisement.
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