Ayers Rock in Uluru National Park, Australia, has long been regarded as a sacred monument to the native Aboriginal people of the country.
And every year thousands of tourists visit to witness its magnificent sunsets.
The rock, which stands at 1,100ft above the arid plains of Alice Springs, is transformed in the dying sunlight.
It becomes a spectacular sight flushed with pink and then blood red.
The Aborigines regard it as being a spiritual place inhabited by friendly spirits but some tourists have good reason to disagree.
Hundreds of visitors who casually pocketed chunks of the sacred landmark and took them home found they brought nothing but bad luck, including illness, marriage break-ups and even death.
And tourists in fear for their lives regularly return rocks that they've taken from the sacred landmark
Park managers are bombarded daily with packages of "sorry rocks"
Some packages - ranging from small stones to a five stone slab - have arrived with apologies.
But a number of senders have included details of tragedies which have befallen them since they took the rocks, including illness, relationship break-ups and even death.
One British tourist who returned a small chunk of rock, was quoted in an Australian newspaper as saying: “Things were good in my life before I took some of Ayers Rock with me, but since then my wife has had a stroke and things have worked out badly for my children, we have had nothing but bad luck”.
Another letter from Arizona claims that by removing some rock it had brought nothing but sickness to the person who had taken it.
And an Australian women said that she had suffered a still birth since taking a piece of rock and that she hoped by returning the rock whatever evils that may have been unleashed would now subside.
To deter tourists from taking souvenirs, park managers hype up the idea that the rock is cursed and even go as far as to displaying the returned rocks and letters from those suffering bad luck.
But despite the fact that the curse has been invented by park officials to stop the rock being carried away "piece by piece", for those who believe - it may indeed become a self-fulfilling prophesy, i.e. "you are cursed if you think you are".
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