Richat Structure (Guelb er Richat)

The Richat Structure (Guelber Richat), also known as the Eye of the Sahara or blue eye of Africa, is a prominent geological circular feature in the Sahara desert near Ouadane, west – central Mauritania .


It is nearly 30 miles wide and was only discovered in the mid-1960s when Project Gemini spacecraft observed it from orbit as it just appears as a scattered formation of rocks on the ground. Initially, it was believed to have resulted from an asteroid impact because of its high degree of circularity. Later, it was believed to be a structure formed by a volcanic eruption but this seems also far – fetched due to the absence of a dome of volcanic or igneous rock.

Many arguments also suggest that a deep geologic dome having equal sides or halves eroded and collapsed birthing the site. It is even believed by some school of thought that uplifted rocks sculpted by erosion were responsible  but the equal dimensions of the rings and the fact that the structure is almost circular leaves this question hanging in the balance.

The specifics surrounding this structure are yet remarkable; in fact Some people believe that the structure is similar to the representation of Atlantis by Plato.

According to Plato; Atlantis was circular and divided into concentric circles of land and water: “There were 2 of land and 3 of water… Atlantis when sunk by the earthquake became an impossible barrier of mud to voyagers sailing from hence to any part of the ocean…” And he spoke about a mount sheltering the city by North and “and encompassing a great plain of an oblong shape in the south”

Geological circular features like the Richat Structure are generally caused by either of three things – a meteorite impact, volcanic activity, or a “domical” uplift from an igneous intrusion.
When this structure was first noticed, it was thought to be a meteor crater. Once geologists got out there, however, it was determined that this structure had none of the characteristics that would have been expected from such meteor crater.

The sedimentary strata surrounding this structure appear up warped, but not heavily broken up or overturned as is common with an impact crater. The multi-ringed structure of sedimentary rock without a depressed center is also not typical of craters. Larger impacts are also believed to alter the crystalline structure of quartz grains in the surrounding rocks but these are not seen any way around the structure.

The problem, however, is that the Richat’s Structure is so big that you can’t really see it from the ground.   That’s why it wasn’t even recognized until the Space Age.


The mystery surrounding this giant blue eye of the African continent as it is popularly called is a puzzle unsolved, a truth left to be deciphered, a tough nut to crack, but with most things relatively unknown about the “dark” continent, researchers have continuously engaged themselves in digging up facts around this “blue eye”. Well we hope a very good finding that will answer all the many questions surrounding this monument will be delivered in no time. Someone funny person even once suggested the simple answer to the Richat’s Structure questions is that it is the “earth’s asshole”. How ridiculous does that sound?