It’s not unusual to find strange rock formations on Lanzarote. The island’s volcanic past has left a legacy of trippy terrains that has writers reaching for the Thesaurus to find new terms for other-worldly, lunar landscape etc, etc, etc. However, these freaky rocks stand out as being über unusual even by Lanzarote standards and have a name to match their unique forms.

These are the Mataburros. In English that means kill the donkeys – not the most charming of monikers. Our guide in Lanzarote was unsure of the origins of the name and suggested that, as burros were traditionally used for travelling around the island, the Mataburros landscape might have been particularly treacherous for donkeys.

I’m not so sure. I have a nagging suspicion that it might be a place where donkeys that have outlived their usefulness were dumped. On the other hand if you look closely at the colouring it might simply be that the rocks resemble donkeys…and as they aren’t moving anywhere presumably that would suggest they were dead ones.

If anyone has any other explanations we’d love to hear them.

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