National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval

With nearly 400 units, the National Park System harbors some incredible wonders. Some are easy to recognize, such as Old Faithful, the Everglades, and the Tetons. But every now and again you come across something that you stare at and scratch your head over.

Such as the subject of this week's Mystery Photo. Is it man-made? Is it natural? Is it organic? What was it used for? Is it one of a kind? Is it bigger than a bread box? And in which unit of the National Park System might you find it?

Tell us the answer.


Is it a volcano bomb or Pele's tear from Volcanoes N.P. in Hawaii?

No fair submitting multiple answers, Terry.

Ok, I'll go with Pele's Tear from Volcanos NP.

dinosaur dung. dinosaur national monument.

Nope and nope -- it's not Pele's tear or dinosaur dung.

It is dinosaur dung!

Dinosaur egg, Dinosaur National Monument

It's not a dinosaur egg.

Well, Dr Watson, there are multiple questions...I'll go with natural, looks like a basalt lava bomb with a
fracture pattern from cooling, and probably geologically young. The narrow depth of field suggests it's
smaller than a breadbox. The blurred background looks drier than Hawaii or the Cascades. My guess is
Craters of the Moon.

Right on the mark, Tahoma, and I'm impressed. Are you sure you weren't there when this photo was taken?

it's definitely a lava bomb. maybe from Sunset Crater National Monument?

Terry: Why did you give up on "volcanic bomb"? I only nixed your second guess (Pele's tear), not the first one. Hope you're not too angry with us. ;o)

Geez, I didn't even get a chance. Great (well educated) guess tahoma. Well done. Yes, the background (as low depth-of-field as it is) was not Lassen Volcanic NP.

Executive Director,
Crater Lake Institute
Robert Mutch Photography

Obviously we're going to have to dig a little deeper to find images that are more challenging. Come back tomorrow to learn about some of the background of this particular type of bomb.

Thunder egg!

No, not angry at all. I'm afraid I wouldn't have guessed the right park anyway. Congrats to tehoma.

Steven M. Bumgardner

Is that a silver sword in the background? Haleakala?