Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth
The seven colored earth is a natural phenomenon and a prominent tourist attraction. The colors evolved through conversion of basaltic lava to clay minerals.
It is a relatively small area ofsand dunes comprising sand of seven distinct colours (approximately red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow).Chamarel
Due to the tropical weather conditions, all water-soluble elements such as silicon dioxide have been washed out. The remains are the reddish-black iron- and aluminium oxides which create shades in blue, cyan and purple. The various colors developed due to the different compositions.
And what is more fascinating is the fact that if you mix the colored earth together, they’ll eventually settle into separate layers. And you may also be puzzled as the colors might play tricks on you and may appear to be shadows…
The following paragraph gives an explicit description of the colored earth: Over the millennia, the rocks were pulverized into sands which have the amazing property of settling into distinct layers: if you take a handful of each of the seven different colours of dirt and mix them together, they’d eventually separate into a colourful spectrum, each dot of sand rejoining its colour caste.
Since the earth was first exposed, rains had carved beautiful patterns into the hillside, creating an effect of earthen meringue. At first you’ll notice shadows on the hills, creating the illusion of different colours, but soon you realise that the colours are real and the shadows were the illusion….200
Sunrise is the best time to see the Coloured Earths. Geologists are still intrigued by the rolling dunes of multi-coloured lunar-like landscape. The colours, red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow never erode in spite of torrential downpours and adverse climatic conditions.
The Colored Earth of Chamarel has become one of Mauritius’ main tourist attractions since the 1960s. Nowadays, the dunes are protected by a wooden fence and visitors are not allowed to climb on them, although they can look at the scenery from observation outposts placed along the fence. Curio shops in the area sell small test-tubes filled up with the coloured earths.
On the premises, you will also find a children’s playground and some giant tortoises.