Where on Earth? - September 2014

Clues for September 2014:

1. Established as a national monument in 1975, this mountainous, semi-arid area gained notoriety in the late 19th century as a prodigious source of plant and animal fossils dating from the Middle Eocene through the Miocene (from 44 million to 5 million years ago) and preserved in thick stacks of lithified ash and debris originating from volcanoes to the west.

2. Three geographically distinct units comprise the national monument, with the largest (where this photo was taken) taking its ovine-inspired appellation from a basalt-capped prominence located within its borders. The monument itself shares its name with a nearby town and the river that meanders among the three units.

3. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails offering vistas of the rugged and often colorful — or “painted” — landscape, as well as tours of a restored early-20th-century ranch house and some impressive fossils in the monument’s paleontology center.


Name the national monument and its host state.

Scroll down for the answer


Answer: Three distinct units comprise John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in east-central Oregon, including the largest, Sheep Rock. As the name implies, the area is well-known for fossils, which include plants and animals dating from 44 million to 5 million years ago and preserved in stacks of lithified volcanic ash and debris. Photo is by Megan Sever.

September Winners:
Stan Dart (Kearney, Neb.)
Lawrence A. Gilbert (Dayton, Ohio)
Neal Jacques (Seattle, Wash.)
Kendall D. Means (The Woodlands, Texas)
Debbie Ziegler (Hannibal, Mo.)

To submit your photographs to our Where on Earth? contest, send them via e-mail to



01 Sep 2014