Mysterious Geologic Structure Seen from Space

OurAmazingPlanet Staff 

Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers snapped this photo of a lava crater in Mauritania from the International Space Station.

This story was updated at 12:54 p.m. EDT.

A huge, copper-toned formation in West Africa dominates a mesmerizing photo taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.

Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers snapped this hypnotic image of the so-called Richat structure in Mauritania, as the space station flew over the Sahara Desert on the Atlantic Coast of West Africa. Erosion of the various rock layers created the ring-like features that make up the sprawling structure, but the origin of the Richat structure remains somewhat mysterious, geologists have said.

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