Some of the most amazing geological features, like Devils Tower and The Tetons, astound us.

But there are bigger features that are even more impressive.

Some are so big we can't see them unless we are up in space, or know how to look for them.

Just above Laramie is Wyoming's Big Hollow, which is the second-largest deflation basin in the world.

It's a national natural landmark that brings some of the strongest winds in Wyoming.

Google Earth view of Big Hollow National Natural Landmark, annotated, Wyoming
West aerial view of the Big Hollow area.

You could drive right through the middle of this and have no idea that you were there.


This impressive carveout in the land was created by Wyoming winds.

The Big Hollow is an erosional scar left by the Pleistocene west wind in the southern Laramie Basin south of the Wyoming wind corridor.

Just go north of the Laramie Airport and you are in it.

The depression is elongated for 11 miles easterly, 4 miles wide.

It's 150 to 200 feet maximum depth.

It covers 40 square miles and is the largest deflation basin in North America and the second largest in the world.

​The southern Laramie Basin lies above 7,000-foot elevation between the Medicine Bow Mountains (west) and the Laramie Range (east).

The video below, from the University Of Wyoming, explains what we are looking at.

So the entire area was sandblasted out over time by Wyoming's strong winds.

It's easy to see why the winds in this area get so bad.

There are several mountain ranges around that force northern air pressure into a tight area.

That pressure has to go somewhere.

Imagine putting your finger over the opening of a garden hose. Think of what happens to the water.

That's what blew the depression in this basin.

The basin is thought to be less than 250 thousand years old.

Before it was a basin, this area used to be a hill.

That's a lot of wind blowing over a long time.

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