Just outside of the sleepy little village of Ritten which is located in the South Tyrol region of Italy, you will find some of the most amazing, naturally occurring pillars that can be dated back to more than 10,000 years ago.
There is somewhere between 100 and 150 of these naturally occurring pyramids which are built through thousands of years of glacial erosion. Atop of them one can find mammoth sized rocks which are the reason that the pillars first started to form. As the years went on, more of the land was worn away below the rocks resulting in some of the pillars towering more than 130 feet above the ground.
Ritten Earth Pillars, Italy by Internet Consulting
Eventually, as the pillar is work down below the point where it can continue to support the weight of the rock, it simply collapses. While these naturally occurring pillars of earth can be caused by a number of weathering processes, the ones just outside of Ritten, Italy were as a result of the glacier that had once covered the valley Ritten sits in today. 10,000 years ago, as this glacier melts with the ending of the last ice age, the pillars began forming and their formation continued long after the last remnants of the glacier melted away.
Today, the Ritten Earth Pillars are a well known and popular attraction throughout Europe. There are also a number of similar sites that can be found throughout the Alps. There is something mysterious about these pillars of clay. Some of the pillars have boulders on top of them that weigh several tons which only adds the enchantment of visiting this natural wonder. Over the centuries Ritten earth pillars have attracted the attention of countless tourists from all over the world. There are many legends that surround the creation of these and many other pillar sites throughout Europe.