Auyantepui is a famous tepui mountain in Venezuela, tepui or tepuy are table mountains located in the Guiana highlands.
A paradisiacal place located in southeastern Venezuela, they form mountain ranges made of giant blocks of sandstone, in the form of truncated pyramids with steep slopes, known as tepuis. They are located in one of the least explored corners of the Earth. There, in descents and crevices formed by torrential rains, between the bizarre shadows cast by the rocks, amazing animals and struggling plants live.
Auyantepui Table Mountain
Auyantepui is the largest of the tepui. Its plateau surface is 700 square kilometers. It is the highest mountain with a flat top. It stands in isolation from the surrounding landscape. The summit is separated by mind-blowing sheer cliffs. The highest waterfall on Earth, Angel Falls, starts its fall from the summit of Auyantepui. Its height is more than 900 meters. Vast territories of these places remain unexplored up to now. Hidden in the haze of the peaks of the ancient rocks, and among them live creatures that existed on Earth before the dinosaurs.
For centuries, the tepuis have attracted explorers, adventurers, and travelers, many of whom have mysteriously disappeared without a trace. The lush wilderness of these fabulous pristine mountains is considered the most understudied corner of the globe. For several centuries this region remained completely unexplored. Many thought it was a lost world inhabited by dinosaurs.
The discoverers, risking their lives, paved the way in this remote corner of South America. In the nineteenth century, before the invention of airplanes and other technical means of transportation, to travel to this remote part of the world was considered risky. The distance that today can easily be covered in an hour by airplane, had to be excruciatingly passed in a few weeks on foot. Many places were officially deemed inaccessible and white spots were left on maps.
The tops of the plateau seemed impregnable to many explorers because of steep walls that were impossible to climb. There are more than a hundred such plateaus in the area, of which only a small part has been explored.
The tepuis consist of the world’s oldest stone. Travelling by airplane has made it easier to study the tops of the tepuis and find out much more about their origins. But a hundred years ago, when no one had ever set foot there, there was much speculation about what was on the tops. On a voyage of adventure and discovery, to the mountains of the tepuis also went by water. But the rapids of the river often posed a danger to travelers who moved in the direction of the mountains, by means of canoes.
Other obstacles had to be encountered on the way, as the advance was very difficult. The reward for the brave ones, eager to see previously unexplored places, were magnificent landscapes of unparalleled beauty. In shallow waters and near waterfalls, they discovered that the river mouths were strewn with semi-precious stones, jasper. Many more amazing discoveries lay ahead of them.
One of the first pilots to explore the area was the American Jimmy Angel. On November 10, 1935, he was prosaically flying over the area in search of gold and accidentally discovered the world’s largest waterfall, later named Angel.
He was flying through a maze of rocks and canyons surrounding a huge plateau. Suddenly, through a haze, he saw a column of water against which his plane seemed tiny. Only by contemplating the waterfall with his own eyes can one understand how the pioneering pilot felt. The incredible emotions one feels when approaching a waterfall from the air are something that will stay in memories for a lifetime. After Jimmy Angela was killed in a plane crash, his ashes were scattered over this waterfall.
Millions of years ago, the peaks of the tepuis were connected to each other. Back then, South America and West Africa were one. When the continents split apart, the movements of the land created huge split masses of sandstone. Thus separate tepuis were formed. Centuries of rain and winds created natural erosion processes on the peaks and carved incredible figures out of the rocks, awe-inspiring and awe-inspiring.
At the top of Auyantepui, when the stone labyrinths are already behind, vast swampy meadows and stony plains are revealed to the eye. From the edge of the summit a breathtaking view of a continuous blanket of forest opens up.
Ever since the first intrepid travelers saw the summit of Auyantepui and wondered what secrets it held, many have been eager to explore this enchanting place. At this moment, the ancient tepuis are some of the unknown and not yet fully explored places on our planet, which are only now beginning to reveal their secrets.
You know what the picture, you think this is a painted scene from a sci-fi movie? No, it isn’t. Let me tell you. This photo continues the theme of the lost world of Mount Roraima and Angel Falls
It turns out that there really are lost worlds where no man had ever set a foot.
In the southeastern part of Venezuela is one of the most amazing places on our planet. Surrounded by savannas and jungles, an isolated area with unique fauna and flora is safely hidden from human eyes. This area is known by the name “Tepui”, which was derived from the eponymous tribe of Indians who once lived in these places.
The Tepuy or Tepuy (Tipui) are table mountains located in the Guiana Plateau in South America, most of the territory of Venezuela.
The word “tepui” means “house of the gods” in the language of the Pemon Indians of the Gran Sabana region. For the most part, the tepuis stand isolated from one another, towering over the jungle in hard-to-reach cliffs, making them the bearers of unique sets of endemic plants and animals.
Scientists claim that these mountains, composed of hard sandstone, with steep, almost steep slopes and flat, truncated peaks, are the oldest in the world. They were formed by the destruction of a vast plateau that in prehistoric times stretched from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of the Orinoco, Amazon and Rio Negro river basins. Back when Africa and South America were one, about 200 million years ago, this plateau formed on the site of a giant lake.
The plateau consisted of sandstone and was located on a granite base; over time, erosion transformed the plateau into several monadnocks, from which the tepuis, covered with erosion-resistant rocks, formed.
Similar sinkholes can be found in several tepuis, formed after the rains washed out the cave vaults, which are made of sandstone.
The deepest is the Abismo Guy Collet Cave, 671 m deep.
By the way, an analysis of the water that accumulates in natural lakes in the tepuis is of excellent quality. As a rule, tepuis consist of a single block of Pre-Cambrian sandstone or quartzite, which rises sharply above the surrounding jungle to heights above 2000 m. Many tepuis have water-flushed caves, such as the 671-meter-deep Abismo Guy Collet, and sinkholes up to 300 meters in diameter created by the collapse of the tunnel vaults of underground rivers.
German explorer Robert Schomburgk visited the area in 1835. He was amazed by the table mountains, but his attempts to climb one of them were unsuccessful. It was not until nearly half a century later, in 1884, that a British expedition led by Everard Im Thurn succeeded in climbing to the top of Mount Roraima.
However, it was the report of Robert Schomburgk’s expedition to the tepuis area that inspired the writer Arthur Conan Doyle to write his novel The Lost World about the discovery of a plateau inhabited by prehistoric species of animals and plants. In 1912, the writer read reports about the mountains discovered in South America and was so impressed that he sat down to write a new novel. The jungle lost plateau described in the book does indeed have much in common with the Tepuis.
Many tepuis have sinkholes up to 300 m in diameter, formed by the collapse of the tunnels of underground rivers, as well as water-washed caves, such as the cave “Abismo Guy Collet” 671 m deep.
Auyantepui is considered the largest of the tepuis, and its area is about 700 sq. km! It is on this plateau that you will find Angel Falls, which is the highest waterfall in the world. The Angel rises from Mount Aoin and falls into the abyss with a height of 979 meters and continuous fall height of 807 meters! This waterfall is twice the height of the Empire State Building and three times the height of the Eiffel Tower!
The great height of the fall – 979 meters – causes the water to scatter into tiny splashes and turn into a thick mist that envelops the surrounding area before reaching the surface of the earth.
One of the most beautiful tepuis, Autana, rises 1,300 meters above the forest and cliffs. It is special because it is pierced through by a cave running from one end to the other. The plateau of Autana is decorated with dark gray rocks of the most bizarre shapes, and the sinkholes surrounding them are filled with the purest water.
The plateau of the mountains is completely isolated from the forest at the foot, making them “ecological islands” where now endemic species of flora and fauna, which evolved in isolation for thousands of years, are preserved.
Another famous tepuya is Mount Sarisarinyama, where there are many perfectly round funnels several hundred meters deep and several hundred meters in diameter. At the bottom of these funnels grow unique plants that are found nowhere else in the world!
Funnels with crystal clear water are found everywhere on many tepuis.
Clickable, Abismo Guy Collet
Different layers of sandstone erode at different rates, so thousands of bizarre rocks have formed on the plateau.
Tepui is best known for its bizarre cliffs, which rise up to a height of 1.5-2 km and have absolutely flat tops. Researchers found that previously all these rocks were a single mountain plateau. However, over time, erosion has destroyed its integrity, and instead of the plateau appeared several rocks of bizarre shapes.
For example, each mountaintop is truly unique in its own way, as it is home to a variety of plant species that have been preserved since prehistoric times. This is only possible because each mountain is isolated from the other. Most of the cliffs stand at a decent distance from each other, towering above the green jungle canvas.
The highest tepuis are Piso de Neblina (3,014 meters), Pico Phelps (2,992 meters), Roraima (2,810 meters) and Cerro Marahuaca (2,800 meters).
Some of the tepuis are well explored, while others have never been touched by humans! The tepuis are still poorly explored and are of great interest to scientists.
In general, this area is not only incredibly beautiful, but also very isolated and remote. To get to the tepuis is not easy, because you have to overcome hundreds of kilometers through the virgin forests of South America. In addition, the tepuis simply can not be climbed without special climbing equipment!
Roraima is the highest tepui in Venezuela. Its height is 2810 meters and the top is a plateau area of 34 km ² – entirely covered with dense vegetation, bizarre stones, steep depressions, caves, small lakes and swamps. The local Indians call Mt. Roraima the “navel of the earth” and believe that on top of it lives the ancestor of the human race, the goddess Quin.
These three and many other lesser-known, but no less beautiful, tepuis are located in Canaima National Park in southeastern Venezuela, on the junction of Brazil and Guyana. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains a wealth of natural resources that are invaluable.
The nature of Canaima National Park is extraordinarily diverse and unique. In addition to the majestic table-top mountains, lined with beautiful waterfalls, you can see rare species of flora and fauna, which are found only in this area. For example, carnivorous plants that lure insects into their beautiful scented traps and devour them. The foothills and slopes of the mountains are surrounded by cloud-covered forests in which exquisite bromeliads and orchids stand out as bright spots.
Grasses and shrubs grow lushly on top of the tepujas. The fauna of the Venezuelan park is no less rich – there are monkeys of various sizes and species, jaguars, giant ants and many small animals. But the bird world boasts the greatest diversity of species, which live in large numbers in this rich land.
The largest nature reserve in Venezuela, Canaima National Park was founded in 1962 and is considered the oldest part of the earth, more than 2 million years old. This lost world, which seems to have been accidentally preserved as it was many millions of years ago, is visited by thousands of tourists every day.
In Canaima National Park, campers are offered exciting canoe tours of the lagoon, into which four waterfalls flow. Two of them, Golondrina and Ukaima, can be seen by canoe, while the other two, Acha and Sapo, have a path underneath which you can walk inside the waterfall between the raging stream of water and the rock:
You can go to one of the park’s most spectacular sights, Angel Falls, which can be accessed either by boat or airplane. If you take a boat tour, you can see the picturesque Orchid Island on the way.
For those wishing to learn more about the aboriginal life of these lands, you can go to the northern part of Canaima, where there is a settlement of the Pemon Indians. Here is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in an unknown culture, to communicate with the aborigines, learn about their rituals, traditions, legends, and way of life, which has survived since ancient times.
Among other things, the area is shrouded in a halo of secrets and mysteries, which are told not only by ancient legends and myths, but also by the reports of several expeditions organized by brave explorers. The last major official expedition to these inaccessible places, namely Mount Roraima, was formed in 1965 by the son of the famous Juan Ángel, the discoverer of the world’s highest waterfall.
The diary of the expedition describes an amazing world in which the flat surface of the mountain top is covered with bizarre hills, shaped like mushrooms, everywhere scattered unusual cavities filled with water, and in addition to the animals already known to science, an unusual creature was found, which was called a cadborosaurus. This previously unseen beast had the head of a horse and the body of a snake with humps on its back. There were also found frogs, incubating eggs, bloodsucking insects, which did not work any chemical protection, the giant ants over 5 cm long, capable of their steel teeth to bite small branches of trees.
The biggest discovery for scientists was the discovery of the remains of ancient animals that inhabited these places not so long ago. There is speculation that they died as a result of alien experiments. On this assumption, scientists pushed the expedition discovered a large round platform, devoid of vegetation and entirely strewn with silvery powder of unknown origin. Later, laboratory examination showed that it was an alloy of the rarest metals, which is simply unreal to create in terrestrial conditions.
During the examination of the caves explorers found a large number of rock drawings, depicting fantastic animals and creatures, remotely resembling humans. The expedition members also found several crypts, inside which there was a dense mist and a sweet smell. Some team members inhaled this strange scent and slipped into a coma for days, and when they woke up they told their colleagues about the incredible visions and travels to other worlds.
After this incident it was decided to go back, but there was a new surprise for travelers: they could not find a way out of this enchanted world, as if some mysterious forces strongly hindered them.
It was not until several months later that the search for a way out took them back home. They claim to have been helped by some unknown force that picked them up and slowly lowered them to the central square of one of the Indian settlements.
When the scientists finally reached civilization, it was discovered that the families had long since given up hope of their return: for the expedition, which was scheduled to return after several months of work, had been absent for four years.
For a long time no expeditions have been organized to this region, but today this lost world, previously instilling fear in people, is daily visited by dozens of adventurers. Only for safety reasons, it is advisable to ascend with an experienced guide.