Escalante, Escalante - Grand Staircase National Monument, Moqui marbles, Utah, photo
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Moqui Marbles

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

"Moqui marbles" are small rock balls that cover areas of whiter Navajo Sandstone in many parts of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. These balls are composed of hard iron oxide outer rings surrounding a softer sandstone core and were formed underground around 2-5 million years ago when iron materials precipitated from flowing groundwater. Red sandstone gets its color from iron oxide that coats the sand grains; in white sandstone the iron oxide was dissolved by certain hydrocarbons or acids flowing through the sandstone, which then precipitated in certain spots forming the marbles. Once the softer sandstone eroded over the eons, the harder marbles were left on the surface.

According to Hopi legend, the Hopi ancestors' spirits return to Earth at night to play marble games and leave them there in the mornings to reassure their relatives that they are happy and content.

Similar but smaller concretions called "Martian blueberries" were discovered on Mars in 2004 by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, providing some of the first evidence for water in Mars' ancient past. Just like in Escalante, the "blueberries" were found scattered on the ground and embedded in rock outcroppings.

Read more about Moqui marbles here.. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

Duraplaq Mounted Fine Art Print (Ready to Hang)

Duraplaq Mounted Fine Art Print (Ready to Hang)

My most popular print display option, also known as "ColorBox" or "MegaPlaq". A fine art ink print with vibrant and accurate colors is mounted on eco-friendly HDF smooth wood and sealed with a special satin semi-gloss UV laminate, which protects the print and eliminates reflections while maintaining excellent image clarity and contrast. The mount is finished with a beveled 1"-deep black edge, resulting in an elegant, modern, and durable print display that hangs flush against the wall. (more info)

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Acrylic-Glass Mounted Fine Art Print (Ready to Hang)

Acrylic-Glass Mounted Fine Art Print (Ready to Hang)

With this innovative display method, the fine art ink print on glossy metallic paper is professionally mounted face-first onto 3/16" museum-grade, UV protected, scratch-resistant plexiglass, and backed by 1/8" black acid-free board. An inset french-cleat hanging system is attached to the back, so that the print floats 1/2" off of the wall, appearing like a glass framed print is floating on the wall, but without the mat and frame. This is the option for those who desire the ultimate stunning glossy print image quality. (more info)

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Glossy Metal Print (Ready to Hang)

Glossy Metal Print (Ready to Hang)

Unlike all my other options which involve mounted paper prints, this attractive display option uses a dye sublimation technique to infuse the image onto a thin, rigid aluminum sheet with an ultra glossy finish. The result is a luscious display of deep, bold colors with excellent clarity and high contrast. The aluminum print is mounted on a 3/4" deep edge-to-edge black metal mount frame. (more info)

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Fine Art Print (Loose Print for Framing)

Moqui Marbles print

This is the option if you want a fine art print to have matted and framed yourself. Printed with pigment inks on archival heavyweight Hahnemühle Baryta paper, these prints have a semi-gloss surface and gorgeous, vibrant colors. The print is delivered without mounting or framing, so you'll need to handle it with care and take it to a local framer to have it matted and framed as you'd like. (more info)

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Not sure which display option to order? This might help.

* Free shipping for all U.S. orders!

** Free shipping for all international Metal, Acrylic, or Loose Print orders! (more info)

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Please allow 3-4 weeks for production and delivery time, though prints are often shipped sooner than that.