An amazing geological phenomenon unique to Missouri's St. Francois Mountains. On a misty day if you were hiking around the St. Francois Mountains in Missouri around the town of Ironton, You could happen upon a geological phenomenon, one and a half billion years in the making which look likes a train of pink circus elephants.
This Missouri State Park is called Elephant Rocks. These pink elephants are protected from development because of there geological uniqueness . The pink granite Spheres are a result of a unique weathering process and are the best known examples of Spheroidal granite. More about how Spheroidal Granite occurs here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spheroidal_weatheringSome other examples of ruff pink granite are at Joshua Tree http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np.joshua-tree.all.html and Vedauwoo http://www.vedauwoo.org/ More about pink granite here: http://www.climbing.com/exclusive/above/10_things_granite/
On a side note (if you are looking for some self delegated project of geological science research to do) the exact number of boulders in Elephant Rocks Park have never been counted. For the solo climber (no ropes allowed) this is an excellent place to learn some and do some great bouldering techniques and short little climbs . I have seen some freestyle jumpers here. One of the boulders, with the name of Dumbo, weighs in at about six hundred and eighty tons and twenty seven feet tall, thirty feet long and seventy feet wide.
There is some evidence of practicing master stone cutters, and early graffiti artists. One of my favorite cuts is the heart shape and the date April 21, 1876, a date of love cut in stone. There is also a odd cut in the stone of something that looks like a spaceman. The park was once used as a quarry to cut and use the pink stone for many buildings, before it got protective national park status.
If you are anywhere near this place, you have to see it. It is a mind blowing pre-dawn experience, so take lots of film. Elephant Rocks is kind of luner-esq, especially at night. Go on a full moon night and check out the heavens while you are there and contemplate what this earth may have been half a billion years ago.
See this youtube video to get a better look at Elephant Rocks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ0_WWtuIrw