The White Pock­et is an iso­lat­ed, hard-to-reach stretch of sand­stone hid­den with­in the Ver­mil­lion Desert Nation­al Mon­u­ment near the Ari­zona-Utah bor­der. The entire area is cov­ered in a gray rocky lay­er, some­times only a few cen­time­ters thick, cov­er­ing red sand­stone, where the land­scape is shaped in such a way that it makes the whole land­scape look like it’s cov­ered in pow­dered sug­ar. In some places, the stone lay­ers are com­plete­ly twist­ed, like a huge mar­ble cake.

white vermillion pocket

Entry relat­ed to loca­tion: USA

The extra­or­di­nary geol­o­gy in the White Pock­et has not yet been accu­rate­ly explained. Some geol­o­gists claim that the White Pock­et is the result of “soft sed­i­ment defor­ma­tion,” not­ing that the warps in the White Pock­et date back to the Juras­sic when the sand was com­plete­ly turned into rock.
white pocket
Accord­ing to retired petro­le­um geol­o­gist Mark Deshowitz, who has stud­ied the White Pock­et more than any­one else, the land­scape was the result of a mas­sive sink­ing of sand caused by an earth­quake. As the mass slid and fell into the low­er lay­ers, it tore apart chunks of lay­ered sand below and filled a large pool or oasis. This large mass of sand is the fea­ture­less, dis­col­ored white sand­stone we see today.

Fine thin plates sur­pris­ing­ly well pre­served. This may indi­cate that all of the sand involved was buried along with large deposits of addi­tion­al sed­i­ment. In oth­er words, sand mixed with addi­tion­al rock at a depth of 30 meters below the sur­face. This explains the strange con­tours that are still in a cer­tain order.

Until a year ago, White Pock­et was rel­a­tive­ly unknown, known only to local ranch­ers and a hand­ful of enter­pris­ing pho­tog­ra­phers. Then Nation­al Geo­graph­ic ran a sto­ry about the Ver­mil­lion Nation­al Mon­u­ment Cliffs, which includ­ed excel­lent footage of these land­scapes. This was a turn­ing point, now Ver­mil­lion is on the list of every trav­el­er and nature lover to vis­it.

See also
Serranha del Aguarage. Colored mountains of Argentina

Con­tin­ue read­ing about the col­ored rocks of Zhangye, anoth­er unusu­al nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­non.