Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park, Australia
© Francesco Riccardo Iacomino/Getty Image
Bungle beehives. Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park, Australia
Aboriginal Australians have lived in this area for more than 20,000 years. But only recently did the rest of the world learn of the extraordinary terrain of the mountains known as the Bungle Bungle Range. In 1982, a nature-documentary crew was filming in remote areas within the Kimberley region of Western Australia and 'discovered' the little-known mountain range. Today it is the most popular aspect of Purnululu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Bungle Bungle Range is composed of sandstone domes that can be up to 800 feet tall. Formed by wind and rain over millions of years, the domes get their striking look due to alternating rusty-orange bands colored by iron oxide and gray bands colored by colonies of single-celled microbes called cyanobacteria. Beneath the beehive formations are large pools and caverns, some of which have ancient Aboriginal cave paintings on the walls.