Monahans is a city in and the county seat of Ward County, Texas, United States. A very small portion of the city extends into Winkler County. The population was 6,821 at the 2000 census.
The Permian Basin, home to Monahans and Midland/Odessa MSA, is 250 miles (400 km) wide and 300 miles (480 km) long - Monahans is "The Center of the Permian Basin". The basin was formed during the Permian Period, the final portion of the Paleozoic Era. At the time, it was an ocean filled with abundant aquatic life.
In 1583, a Spanish explorer named Antonio de Espejo crossed this area on his way through present-day New Mexico. The Indians in the Monahans region were called "Vaqueros" by these Spanish explorers because they hunted the "hump-backed cow" or bison. Records of Spanish exploring the Los Medano (the sand dunes) outside Monahans can be traced to the early 1770s.