Have you ever heard of the wondrous formation known as Devil’s Tower? This giant rock formation has been the subject of myths and legends for hundreds of years. People have been captivated by its unique shape, which has been likened to everything from an ancient castle to a great sea stack.
But what lies beneath the surface of this monolith? Why is it called Devil’s Tower?
In this article, we take a closer look at the history and etymology of this incredible natural structure and discover why it is so named. Let’s dive in and uncover the mysteries of Devil’s Tower!
What is Devils Tower?Devils Tower is a steep, narrow column of exposed rock located in northeastern Wyoming, United States. It is one of America’s most iconic and recognized geological landmarks, and it’s also the first National Monument to be declared by U.
S. President Theodore Roosevelt in 190
The tower stands 867 feet (265 meters) tall at its highest peak and has become world-renowned for its awe-inspiring views and native spiritual significance.
Why is Devils Tower called Devils Tower?
Devils Tower is an English translation of its original native name, Mato Tipila, which translates to Bear’s Lodge. This name originates from the Lakota tribe, who believe the jagged spire is the home of a great bear.
The tower has since accrued many other colloquial names, such as Bear’s Tipi, Bear’s Lodge, Tree Rock, Bear’s House, Bear’s Lair, and Grizzly Bear’s Lair. The name “Devils Tower” was formally given in 1875 by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge, who was serving as the first U. S.
Minister to the Great Sioux Nation at the time. In one of his first reports to the War Department, Dodge wrote: >“[I]n starkly visible landscape where I had been journeying, suddenly I detected the curious appearance of a great stone tower rising from the plain and looking out on the valley from the dominating apex of a mountain.
Indians called it in their language ‘Mato Tipila,’ the Mountain of Bears. I decided to call it the ‘Devils Tower. ‘”Colonel Dodge’s fanciful translation was likely inspired by his devoutly religious background, as the name insinuates that the tower was a beacon of temptation sent by the devil. Regardless, it has since been established as the official name of the monument.