Nature October 21, 2017
This Eerie Beach In Alaska Looks Like A Dragon’s Lair
The Aleutian Island chain stretches out into the Bering Sea, and Umnak Island is one of the most remote, yet still inhabited places in Alaska. This distant land is home to glaciers, volcanoes, fog and winds. There are around 20 year-round residents in the single village of Nikolski, and thousands of cows and caribou wandering the wind swept plains. A mysterious beach lies somewhere near the volcano, covered in bones.
Map to the volcano here.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Mount Vsevidof is the highest point on Umnak Island and a stratovolcano. The volcano is 893 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Although it looks innocent enough in its fresh coat of snow, the island has a harsh environment due to the ash that surrounds the volcano as well as earthquakes, wind, and fog.
According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, there is no solid recorded evidence of Mount Vsevidof having erupted in recent history, although possibly in 1999 or 1957 some smaller seismic events occured.
Volcanic ash consists of fragments of pulverized rock, minerals and volcanic glass created during volcanic eruptions.
These glass projectiles coupled with the high winds make travel during sand storms unbearable.
In this far off and unforgiving place, the eerie Cayo Hueso Beach lies. The bleached bones of large land animals stick out of the volcanic debris as far as the eye can see.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory could not confirm what kind of animals these are or how they died, nor whether the black particles were black sand or volcanic ash.
The Bering Pacific Ranch is an organic cattle ranch on the island that lets the cattle roam free. They graze on the grassy plains and eat seaweed on the beaches. On really heavy snow years, the deep snow covers everything all the way to the shore which leaves cattle struggling for food. That could account for the bones. Also, volcanic ash contains flourine and can be really toxic to livestock, which may have poisoned the cattle. Or the bones could be caribou or a combination of the two. The mysteries of this distant island remain secret.
Cayo Hueso Beach on Umnak Island is beautiful, haunting and covered in bones. Not because of a dragon, but because the harsh Aleutian conditions are terrifying enough.
Check out these other interesting Alaska beaches in
What’s Hiding At This Alaska Beach Is Unexpected But Completely Fascinating and The Alaska Beach That’s Unlike Any Other In The World.
Have you seen Cayo Hueso Beach and lived to tell the tale? Tell us about it in the comments below.