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Dunhuang Echoing-Sand Dune

echoing-sand-dune  The Echoing-Sand Dunes, formerly known as Shesha Hills or Shajiaoshan Hills, are located 6 kilometres away from the city of Dunhuang.

The Echoing-Sand stretch about 40 kilometres from east to west, and 20 kilometres from north to south. The dunes range from 80 to 90 metres in height. The Echoing-Sand are rolling like a " wriggling dragon" and glittering like golden hills with a clear spring shaped like a new moon lying in their bosom. The green spring water, resembling a jadeite, is inlaid on the golden dunes. Reeds grow luxuriously by the side of the spring, and, in gentle breeze, the water-surface ripples and the dunes are reflected in the water, forming a very spectacular view.

According to the record of The Old Tang Annals, The Echoing Sand Dunes are also called Shajiaoshan Hills. In fine days, sand roars like thunder which can be heard in the city, hence the name of Echoing Sand Dunee. When visitors climb up the dunes and slide downward from the summit, the sand can collapse with them and give out a peal of loud sound, like the howls of beasts and roar of thunder if it is listened to in the vicinity and like celestial melodies if it is listened to in the distance. Since the ancient times, this scenic spot has been regards as a riddle.

What has brought about the phenomenon of echoing sand dune? Up to now there is yet no satisfactory answer. Some Japanese think that perhaps there are ancient palaces under the dunes, the Russians deem that the quartz content in the singing sand is very considerable, and when quartz crystals are squeezed, they would produce electric charges which would in turn change into sound. Chinese scientists have carried out the study on the cause of the singing of sand for years and they believe that the singing of sand is a phenomenon of resonance. The Echoing Sand Dunes are as high as 80 to 90 metres and their ridges are as sharp as the edge of a knife.