13th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Century -old cactus of Isla Incahuasi
Isla Incahuasi is a hilly and rocky outcrop of land and former island in Bolivia situated in the middle of Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat, at an elevation of 3,656 meters (11,995 feet). Its gigantic cacti grows one centimeter per year and most of them are more that two meter high. There are unusual and fragile coral-like structures and deposits that often consist of fossils and algae. The place is the top of the remains of an ancient volcano, which was submerged when the area was part of a giant prehistoric lake, roughly 40,000 years ago.
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||Nov. 18, 2015, 2:08 p.m.