Chocolate Hills forever

These impressive mounds on the ground may look like Hersey’s Kisses, however unfortunately they’re not edible. The Chocolate Hills is a naturally occurring phenomenon of nearly 2,000 grass-covered limestone hills nestled in the Filipino region of Bohol, which range from 30 to 50 metres high within an area of around 50 square kilometres. Locals are so proud of their hilly attraction; they even feature on the provincial flag. The Bohol people are practical and, since they can't actually eat the Chocolate Hills, the space in between the hills is used for rice crops.

The Chocolate Hills are vibrant green for most of the year, but during the dry season, the grass dries up and they turn a chocolaty shade of brown. One of the Philippines’ most popular tourist attractions, there are several different legends around the origins of the hills and like any good myth, most of them involve giants.

As the story goes, two giants were violently throwing rocks and boulders at each other. Soon they became tired, and while catching their breath they became friends – stomping off hand in hand into the sunset forgetting to clean up after themselves. Then there’s another tale about the giant who fell in love with a mortal, who died. The devastated giant wept and as heavy tears fell from his eyes, they hardened into globs on the land – a.k.a. the Chocolate Hills.

While myths run rampant, no one really knows how or when the hills were formed but the rumour that it was manmade, as they are too perfect to be real, was swiftly stomped out. The most commonly accepted theory is that the hilly formations are the weathered deposits of a type of marine limestone on top of a solid layer of clay.

Carmen, Bohol Province, Visayan Islands, Philippines, Asia

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