Sally Gould 2014
7 facts about Uluru
Revered rock, you gaze upon us
Hard set wisdom in the veins
Of colour coursing down your face
Softened by the summer rains
from 'Ode to Uluru' by Michelle Williams
1. Uluru is higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris and higher than the Chrysler Building in New York.
2. When lightning strikes Uluru, a scar remains. The heat of the lightning boils water trapped in the rock surface and flakes of rock explode off.
3. Uluru is a single rock and most of the walls are extremely steep at about an 80 degree angle. Faulting caused the vertical shape of the rock.
4. The color of Uluru varies greatly. When the sun is low in the sky at sunrise and sunset, Uluru looks its reddest. Iron oxide in the rock enhances the red color. During rain the rock can look silvery and after rain the rock appears grey.
5. Uluru is a sacred place to the Aboriginal custodians. Climbing the Rock is not permitted by Aboriginal Law and is considered by some people as disrespectful.
6. Over 40 people have died attempting to climb Uluru.
7. For the Aboriginal people, the formation of land forms, including Uluru, are understood through Tjukurpa stories. They are creation stories which answer important questions, provide rules of behaviour, guidance as to how to care for each other and the land and to explain relationships between living things and the land. In one story, Uluru was formed by Two Boys piling up mud. They sat on the top and slid down dragging their fingers, which created the ribbing on the Rock.
I wrote Outback Hero: Max conquers outback Australia after visiting Kakadu National Park, Kings Canyon and Uluru. For more facts about Uluru, see: