Richat Structure – The peculiar yet strikingly impressive Eye of the Sahara

The Richat Structure is one of the most unique wonders of the world. As per the images which were taken by NASA from outer space, the structure appears like a deep “blue eye” and therefore is commonly called the eye of Sahara. It is actually a majorly eroded landform bordering an area of about 40 kilometers in diameter. The sedimentary rocks present in the center are the oldest and belong to the Late Proterozoic eon (2500 to 541 million years ago) whereas the ones present on the edges are from the Ordovician Period (485.4 to 443.8 million years ago).


You can travel to this unique wonder from nature by a small desert town of Ouadane in the west-central part of Mauritania in western North Africa. You can even visit this structure via a small car ride from Ouadane.

Since it was discovered, this place has not only attracted astronauts but also many research institutions have been sending their teams to study this unique structure since times immemorial due to it varied geological features. The rocks have rich deposits of igneous rocks like rhyolite, kimberlite, gabbros, and carbonatite. The sedimentary rocks that make up this strange yet striking structure dip outward at an angle of 10–20°.Human habitation is very limited here and except a few tribes living close to this place, the structure is particularly secluded. The same goes for the animal population here as it is very rare that you will spot any animal here but this does not kill the charm of this place. Even though this place is not widely advertised it still manages to get a lot of tourism from places all over the world just to see the uniqueness of this structure in the middle of a desert.

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