Amazing Places

The Chocolate Hills Of Bohol Are Beautifully Mysterious Mounds

The Chocolate Hills in the Philippines are not, unfortunately, made of candy. These hills are more a feast for the eyes than the tastebuds. (Unless you like dining on dirt and grass, in which case, how's that going?) These uniform lumps of earth are visually stunning, but the fact that no one knows how they formed is, perhaps, even cooler.

The Hills Are Alive With The Color Of Chocolate

You can find the Chocolate Hills in the town of Carmen on the island of Bohol in the Philippines. One of the country's most popular tourist attractions, these hills are scattered over a 50 square kilometer area. And they sure aren't ant hills—each of the 1,200 or more mounds stands 30–50 meters tall (that's 100–165 feet). Though this hilly patch of earth sounds like the perfect setting for Willy Wonka's summer home, the hills are made of regular ol' dirt and grass. In the dry season, the hills uniformly take on the chocolate brown color that earned them their name. The wet season brings out the green grass.

So, where'd they come from? Nobody knows. There are hundreds of them, and they're all eerily and unexplainably uniform. According to, "The most commonly accept[ed] theory is that they are the weathered formations of a kind of marine limestone on top of a impermeable layer of clay."

These Hills Are Legendary

Fancy shmancy science doesn't have an explanation for the formation of these geological anomalies, but the creative locals sure have a few. Here are four local explanations:

  1. One legend holds that these hills formed after two ancient giants threw sand at each other in a fight that lasted days. Too exhausted to continue, the giants became friends and left the island—and their mess—behind.
  2. Another legend tells of a giant named Arogo. He fell in love with a mortal girl named Aloya. When Aloya passed away, Arogo cried and cried. His tears dried and formed the Chocolate Hills.
  3. The third legend recalls a giant carabao (a bull-like animal) that ate all the island's crops. To rid the island of the animal, the locals piled up mounds of spoiled food. The animal ate the food, which upset its stomach, and it, erm, expelled the matter into large mounds. Lovely.
  4. The fourth legend is just as appetizing as the last. There was a gluttonous giant named Miguel who ate anything and everything. He met a beautiful girl named Adrianna, a meeting that inspired him to lose weight. He excreted everything he ate (which, yes, formed the large brown hills) and he won her affection. How romantic.

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Written by Curiosity Staff April 12, 2017

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