In the Big Horn Basin near Worland, Wyoming three long tube shapes sit on top of sandstone.

They look like 3 petrified trees that fell over millions of years ago.

They look like they have tree rings and even petrified bark. So they are what they look like, right?


On his YouTube channel, Wyoming geologist Myron Cook drove out to the site to have a look.

In his video, which you can watch below, he breaks down what we are really looking at.

When it comes to nature and science looks are often deceiving.

It turns out that what looks like trees are actually made of the same sandstone that supports these structures. Plus a few other minerals might have become trapped in them along the way.

If they are not petrified trees, and they are mostly sandstone, how did they form? And why are they this tree-like shape? What's with the darker color?

Mr. Cook expertly offers two theories.

One shows how, over time, sediment builds in layers and hardens over time at the bottom of a river. Because rivers change directions, and through periods of flood and drought, the sediment begins to take shape as it builds layers in a "cement" like process.

Time passes and the climate continues to change as it always does, rivers come and go.

attachment-Myron Cook petrified tree video 2

Eventually, this formation is far underground.

But erosion, over time, exposes it again.

There are other formations near these three that don't look quite so perfectly round like an old dead tree. It's easy to spot how they formed in the very same way.

SORRY - I was hoping that they were trees too.

The Hidden Treasures Of Wyoming's Natural Bridge

Look closely, there are gems you might miss.

Wyoming Dinosaur Center

Thermopolis Wyoming has one of the most interesting and active dinosaur museums in the world. As they continued to make new finds in the area they put in on display, so you can discover and learn.

Let's have a look at some of what is on display.

More From Wake Up Wyoming