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Elephant Rock: the optical illusion boulder

Among the numerous rock formations that embellish the landscape of AlUla, there are many shapes, each one more bizarre than the other. Depending on the imagination of the observer one could see a hand, a lion there, abd faces everywhere, all emerging from the rocks, as ghosts of civilizations that have succeeded one another in these places.

However, within the lot, there is one that leaves no room for the imagination. Jebel Al Fil, or Elephant Rock, named for its striking resemblance to a pachyderm with ivory tusks, is undeniably one of AlUla’s most cherished boulders. 

An elephant in the rock

Basking in sunshine during the day, its’ imposing golden shape makes it almost possible to hear the trumpeting of the animal. You could swear that its gigantic shadow is what riles up the horses that one sees trotting around. At dusk, he puts on his ochre costume, helped by the abundance of candles from the surrounding relaxation areas set up to welcome the numerous tourists. 

The natural tapestry, in perpetual motion, has tones changing at breakneck speed, startling the photographers and Instagram models who traveled to capture the magic of the place.

Photographers and fire-eaters

Very quickly, too quickly, the sun sets and the visit come to an end, almost as suddenly as the laughter of the children playing in the sand mimicking the trunk of the rock animal disappears. A last glance at the fire-eaters, at the almost-moon, which, despite all the tech equipment remains the primary source of light, and we continue on our way…