Alberta’s Surreal Badlands Shaped By Torrential Rainstorms

Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park is an other-worldly place, full of fantastically-shaped hoodoo rocks set amidst an intricate network of narrow winding gullies.

The area is known as the ‘badlands’ because European settlers found the land impossible to farm and hard to cross.

Seventy-five million years ago, the Badlands had a sub-tropical climate with lush forests and great rivers that flowed into an inland sea. And of course, there were dinosaurs. The skeletons of over 50 dinosaur species have been discovered here.

Today, the landscape is barren and arid. Every summer, rain falls in short, drenching storms.

Wild Canadian Year director Jeff Turner and his son Logan traveled there to film a summer storm. “What impressed us most was the intensity and speed of the storms that swept across the land. The amount of rain that fell was torrential, our clothes would get drenched in literally seconds.”

As rainwater pounds down on the dry rock, the run-off erodes and weathers the land formations. “Watching the rainfall, you could almost imagine how over millennia, the force of the rain has created the landscape, carving these amazing shapes out of the rock.”

Click play on the video above to watch.

The Wild Canadian Year continues Sundays at 8 pm on CBC-TV.

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