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Kigilyakhi of the New Siberian Islands

Kigilyakhi of the New Siberian Islands

Photo: Andrian Kolotilin

Kigilyakhi or craggy rock ledges projecting above the flat-topped mountains are typical for many regions of Yakutia. Kigilyakhi just as many other rock formations of this nature form by soft rocks decay and their entraining by water and sand to the relief draws. As a result more solid formations expose and form bizarre rocky pillars.

Word “kigilyakhi” comes from Yakutian “kiselyakhi” which radix “kise” stands for “man”. Such formations look like people from afar and scientists consider that the name “kigilyakhi” came from it. These formations are often called “kekury” on the territories of Finno-Ugric peoples in few regions of Siberia and the Far-East.

Photo of Kigilyakhi shown above was taken on Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island 7 km away from polar station “Kigilyakh”. Geomorphologists consider that these kigilyakhi formed about 120-110 million years ago when Eurasian tectonic plate came across the North American tectonic plate. The same geological processes formed Verkhoyansk and Chersky ranges as well as granites that compose sacred Yakutian site – core of the Kisilyakh Range on the bottom of the Yana River.