The Old Man of the Mountain


This springtime view of The Old Man of the Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire was one of the last photos taken before the rock formation fell to the ground in May of 2003. The former state symbol of New Hampshire, this rock formation was located on a shoulder of Profile Mountain, 1200 feet above Profile Lake in the Franconia Notch. Composed of 5 layers of Conway red granite, it was a measured at 40 feet 5 inches in height. After it fell, geologists had their first close look at the site and discovered that much of the underlying soil was wet; constant freezing and thawing during the winter had loosened the ground, making it unable to support the gigantic layers of stone.

Credit: Larry Landolfi / Science Source

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