What is Devils Tower Made Of?

The Devil's Tower is an awe-inspiring natural formation located in Wyoming, USA. It is made of igneous rock, which is formed from the cooling and solidification of molten rock. This process, known as deposition, is common in river deltas and coastal areas. Experts estimate that the formation of Devils Tower occurred about 50 million years ago, while erosion occurred between 5 and 10 million years ago.

Some claim that Devils Tower is an old volcano, but geologists say it's likely an igneous intrusion, meaning it formed underground from molten rock, or magma, that was pushed into sedimentary rock and became solid. To this day, Devils Tower is often the site of ceremonial rituals, including sun dances, sweat shelters, and prayer offerings and artifacts. The rock that makes up the Devil's Tower is called phonolite porphyry, which is like a less shiny granite, since it does not contain quartz. The columns of the Tower are similar to those found in other parts of the world, such as in the Devils Postpile National Monument in California.

Ironically, the erosion exposed by the Tower also erased the evidence needed to determine which theory of the formation of the Devil's Tower is the right one. When President Theodore Roosevelt declared the site the first national monument in 1906, Devils Tower was used as the denomination and the name became official. In recent years, native tribes have requested to officially change the name from Devils Tower to Bear Lodge, as they find the current nickname offensive. Protected in 1906 for its scientific value, Devils Tower remains a place of scientific study and public amazement.

The columns of Devils Tower, which rise hundreds of feet in the air and extend up to 10 feet wide, are truly spectacular.

Roxanne Cotner
Roxanne Cotner

Incurable music nerd. Amateur pop culture specialist. General internet aficionado. Unapologetic web lover. Hipster-friendly bacon fanatic.