Serra dos Órgãos
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|Serra dos Órgãos National Park|
Rock formations and the God's Finger peak in the background
Serra dos Órgãos ("Organs Range", "Range of the Organs") is a mountain range in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which was turned into a national park in 1939. It is located about a one-hour drive from the city of Rio de Janeiro.
The Serra dos Órgãos National Park was created in 1939 as the third national park in Brazil. The objective was to protect the native forest on the hillsides and the fresh water springs abundant in the region. When created the park occupied land previously controlled by four municipalities: Petrópolis, Teresópolis, Guapimirim and Magé.
The Park's area is 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi) and it has 10 peaks higher than 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) and six other peaks over 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) high. The lowest point in the park is located in the relatively flat municipality of Magé, at 145 metres (476 ft). The highest peak is Pedra do Sino (Bell Rock), at 2,263 metres (7,425 ft). The most famous formation in the park is the Dedo de Deus (God's Finger) rock, which resembles a left hand with its index finger stretched, pointing towards the sky. It is 1,692 metres (5,551 ft) high and can be seen in the background of the flag of the Rio de Janeiro state.
The park is part of the larger Serra do Mar chain of mountains, and the most accepted theory about its origin is that it rose about 60 million years ago during earthquakes that caused the Andes to rise. That means it is located in a geologically unstable location, although no incident has ever been recorded in the area.
Temperatures in the mountains can fall as low as 4 °C (39 °F), and the average temperature at 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) is 17 °C (63 °F). Humidity is between 80 and 90% on average, but it can reach 99% at higher altitudes.
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