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Cobra rock loses battle with gravity after 250 million years: Cobra beheaded

An icon to climbers and sightseers alike, the Cobra rock formation that is estimated to be 250 million years old has toppled. Utah’s desert towering formation, which is made of red sandstone and carved over millions of years by winds and rain, is believed to have toppled during the storms in the area last week, according to AOL News on August 7.

Cobra rock tumbles after gravity got the best of the red sandstone formation.
Wikimedia Commons via Facebook

The rock towered over in the desert near Moab, reports Bureau of Land Management spokesperson Megan Crandall. There was no eye witnesses to the Cobra beheading and no injuries were reported, so apparently it went down quietly and alone in the desert.

The Cobra was a popular attraction for rock climbers with its thin spire standing about 50-feet high. The rock looked to defy gravity with a wide, flat cap rock that almost look like a good wind could blow it over, but it was sturdy. The "Cobra was beheaded" by nature, suggests MSN News.

One of the April Fool’s Day jokes in the area is that the Cobra rock has toppled, so when folks first heard of this rock's demise, many didn’t believe it was for real. Lisa Hathaway, who is a Moab-based climber said that the rock falling over shouldn’t really surprise anyone.

Hathaway said people who are accustomed to seeing the rock knew it would topple one day, or at least the cap rock would go over. Rock formations that are made by nature are often taken away by nature too.

In 2008 another towering rock came down in Arches National Park. In July a 12-foot slab of sandstone fell in the same park. Moab and the lands surrounding it are used as a playground for many extreme sports enthusiasts.

New Hampshire residents can feel the pain felt by the folks in Utah. They lost a rock formation that was such an icon in the state that even the famous Daniel Webster wrote about it. They've had more than a decade go by since the demise of their famous face-like stone wonder.

Back in 2003, New Hampshire residents were saddened when their granite “Old Man of the Mountain” fell. The granite side-view of a face greeted folks traveling in and out of New Hampshire for centuries, as USA Today reports over a decade ago.

The Old Man of the Mountain fell victim to Mother Nature after years of trying to secure it against the same elements that created it. Years of stabilizing cables and epoxy fixes lasted only so long and it was not a defense against the forces of nature. Much like the Cobra rock, The Old Man of the Mountain got its start over 200 million years ago.

Daniel Webster wrote about the Old Man of the Mountain:

"In the mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men."

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