The 'Alien Egg Hatchery' in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico, USA
© Ian Shive/Tandem Stills + Motio
An alien landscape?. An alien landscape in New Mexico
The other-worldly rock formations in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness have inspired some creative nicknames – like the Alien Egg Hatchery seen in our homepage photo. More than 70 million years ago, this desert was a tidal swamp along the shore of the long-evaporated Western Interior Seaway, a prehistoric inland sea that once split North America in two. A diverse mix of sediment and rock was deposited by the waters, and after the seaway retreated, the rocks remained. Fossils of prehistoric creatures have also been found among the sand and stones – among them the ‘Bisti Beast’, or Bistahieversor, a type of Tyrannosaur from the late Cretaceous period.
Today, these inspiring desert landscapes are a protected area thanks to the US Wilderness Act of 1964. Anyone planning a road trip along the Scenic Byways in the US state of New Mexico should make time for the Trails of the Ancients Byway, which take you directly to Bisti/De-Na-Zin.