At the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu, China, tourists flock to see China's own version of the Grand Canyon: A mountain range of densely packed layers of minerals and rock that are dramatically striated into a layer cake of magenta, maroon, and lemon-colored stone.
Over millions of years, layers of different types of rock including red sandstone and a whole lot of mineral deposits formed on top of one another.
Over 50 million years, India moving at about 27 feet per century crushed into the larger continent, creating rifts of fractured rock and creating mountain ranges like the Himalayas.
Over in the future Chinese province of Gansu, the collision disrupted the layer cake of red rock and minerals, too. Imagine a piece of paper with lines drawn on it then imagine crumpling it up.
The "rainbow" patterns we see at Danxia are the result of a similar crumpling, which explains their perfect striation.
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