Singing Sand Dune

Singing Sand Dune
Dunhuang has a spectacular natural scene: Mingsha (Sighing) Sand Dune. The dune, a sand crusted hill of dozens of meters high, is 40km east to west, and 20km south to north. In fine days, sand roars like thunder which can be heard in the city, hence the name. When visitors climb up to the dunes and slide downward from the summit, the sand can collapse with them and give out a pearl of loud sound.

How the Mingsha Sand Dunes were formed and what has brought about the phenomenon singing sand? So far, no body has provided a satisfactory answer. According to some Japanese experts, there are probably ancient palaces under the duns while the Russians deem that quartz content in the sand is the main reason. Chinese scientists have carried out the study on the cause of the singing of sand for years and they believe that it is a phenomenon of resonance.

Legend has it that this area was a heavily sheltered, flourishing mountain called Qingshi Mountain (Bluestone Mountain) in ancient time. At the foot of the mountain beside the Crescent Lake clustered many sacred temples. Operas were shown to worship the Temple God on each temple fair. However, the deafening sounds of celebration one year annoying the sleeping Yellow Dragon Prince in a nearby desert. The prince was cruel, cranky and powerful. He used his magical power removed one huge sand dunes into this area and buried all the people underground. Those souls often cry, beat drums and hit gong to complain their mishap. Since then the Mingsha Sang Dunes became into being and the sand was made by the spirits.