Thursday, January 5, 2012
Thor's Hammer Bryce Canyon
These free standing spires are called hoodoos. Many have been given whimsical or mythological names over the years. In Norse mythology, Mjölnir (/ˈmjɒlnɪər/ or /ˈmjɒlnər/ myol-n(ee)r; also Mjǫlnir, Mjollnir, Mjölner or Mjølner) is the hammer of Thor, a major god associated with thunder in Norse mythology. Distinctively shaped, Mjölnir is depicted in Norse mythology as one of the most fearsome weapons, capable of leveling mountains. See Wikipedia:Mjölnir
That is quite a stretch for a rock formation but it is good public relations for Bryce Canyon National Park. Many of the rock formations throughout the Southwest bear the names of mythological beings or objects because the names reflect the cultural background of the early explorers and pioneers. It is interesting that by giving a rock formation an exotic name, more people will notice it and look for it when they visit the Park.