Dinosaur tails

A flysch formation on the coastline of Barrika, Spain Photographers love the long, spiky rock formations found on this Spanish beach for their primordial appearance—they’re colloquially called ‘dinosaur tails’ for obvious reasons. Geologists are interested in them for, well, deeper reasons. These curving lengths are called flysch (rhymes with ‘fish’) formations and are made up of layers of shale, marl, clay, sandstone, and other sedimentary materials formed and then reformed over the ages. Flysch can be found on coastlines, as in this formation near Barrika, Spain, but a geologist first discovered and named this deep marine sediment while digging into the Alps.

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