20 Most Famous and Amazing Rock Formations in the World
Nanya Rock Formation, Taiwan
Unique Rock Formations as Tourists Attractions
Nature is great and humans enjoy natural resources in different forms. It may be mighty mountains, roaring waterfalls, thick forests, changes in weather or beautiful beaches, we all yearn to spend some time with nature. Tourists have often been attracted by rocks which look unique. The uniqueness of rocks may lie in their shapes, components, locations and beautiful landscapes they represent. Many rocks are huge and viewing them is breath-taking. Many of these are ancient occurrences and their beauty is amazing and energising.
This Hub is an endeavour to showcase 20 most incredible rocks attracting tourists in different parts of the world.
"On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it." - Jules Renard
#1. Aphrodite Rocks, Cyprus
It is one of the famous spots in Pafos, a coastal city in Cyprus. It is also known as Petra Tou Romiou which means 'Rock of the Greek.' Its popularity is linked with Greek mythological belief that Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, Beauty, Procreation and Pleasure, was born here. There is a belief that swimming around Aphrodite rock brings in eternal beauty.
#2. Old Harry Rocks, England
Located about 10 kms south of Poole and Bournemouth, these rocks are over 60 million years old (Cretaceous age). These chalk formations are ever-changing because of the continuous erosion by the sea. This erosion has taken away the 'wife' which can only be seen in the form of a stump, visible only during low tide. This UNESCO World Heritage site is spectacular and Old Harry rocks are at the end of the Jurassic Coast.
#3. Ayers Rocks (Uluru), Australia
Sunrise at Uluru
If one has to name a natural landmark in Australia, there cannot to more famous a name than Ayers Rock or Uluru. Located in the Northern Territory (Central Australia) this sacred sandstone rock formation is unique being one of the world's largest monoliths having a height of more than 318 metres or nearly 1000 feet. Measured at its base, a trip round the rock would be around 9 kms and marked with its colour changing at sunset and sunrise.
The present image represents a midday view of Uluru but the changes in colour can be appreciated viewing the next video.
Enjoy changing colours of Uluru
#4. The Arbol de Piedra, Bolivia
The Arbol de Piedra is another stunning example of geological erosion of a volcanic rock formation rendered thin over a period because of strong winds. Situated in the Desierto Siloli in Bolivia, the uniqueness of this isolated rock lies in its resemblance with a tree with stunted growth at about 4600 meters elevation.
#5. Immortal Bridge, Mt. Tai, China
Believed to be of Ice Age, the rock formation on Mount Tai in Shandong province of China is positioning of three huge rocks with a few smaller ones. Mount Tai being a sacred mountain in China, this amazing formation might have found the name of "immortal bridge", tested through times.
#6. Khao Ta-Pu - James Bond Island, Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
Those who have seen James Bond movie - 'The Man with the Golden Gun', will recall this famous rock in Thailand. As a part of the Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park since 1981, this 20 metres high limestone rock with increasing diameter towards the top, is frequented by tourists but with restrictions for boats to go too near to avoid damage to this fabulous limestone formation.
Have a close view of James Bond Island
#7. Kannesteinen Vågsøy, Norway
Supported by a narrow trunk, this huge stone is located in high water near village Oppedal under Municipality of Vågsøy in Norway. This 3 meter high, giant mushroom like rock is thousands of years old, formed artistically by the might of the sea which eroded some parts of it to give it a spectacular shape.
#8. Balancing Rock, Canada
Believed to be standing for thousands of years, Balancing Rock at Long Island, Digby Neck is a part of the columnar basalt rock which defied erosion and is standing tall. About 9 meters in height, it is standing straight without much visible support which makes it a unique natural attraction.
#9. Hoodoos at Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Area, North Mexico
Another rock formation which has attracted tourists is Hoodoos. The Hoodoos are created by differential resistance to erosion of rocks made up of sandstone. Surprisingly, the topmost part, called cap rock, is normally the hardest which protects the softer parts of the rock below. Located mostly in the dry and hot desert areas, the size of Hoodoos can vary from 5 ft to even over 100 ft. Similarly, their structures also show wide variations due to mineral composition effecting their colours and hardness and softness of rocks resulting in visible layers caused by erosion.
Hoodoos at Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Area are unique rock formations in north-western part of New Mexico. There are lots of hoodoos spread over an area of about 26 sq kms and this has been declared protected area as a large number of fossils have been found here.
#10. Ashima in Shilin Yunnan, People's Republic of China
This rock formation is a part of the Stone Forest spread over about 400 square kms in Lunan county of Yunnan province of People's Republic of China. These countless stone formations have different shapes like high pillars, camel peak or elephant shaped caused by the fury of nature out of limestone millions of years ago. Ashima peak is believed to be incarnation of girl Ashima of Hani minority in China and respected greatly.
#11. Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
Natural site - Looking like Man Made
UNESCO Heritage Site, located in the County Antrim in Northern Ireland, Giant's Causeway is a splendid show of outcome of nature's fury, the volcanic eruptions. These interlocking basalt columns, numbering nearly 40,000, are formed by the rapid cooling of lava and are mostly hexagonal. The formation is awesome and gives an impression that it is man made. This site continues to be a major tourist attraction in the Northern Ireland.
#12. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona, USA
Horseshoe Bend at Sunrise and Sunset
Just outside of Page town in Arizona in the United States there is an amazing site called Horseshoe Bend. There is a deep gorge and wrapping around of the river Colorado brings a breathtaking horseshoe shape.
There can be dramatic changes in the brightness of the images one gets at different times of the day with changing positions of the Sun. It is sometimes scary for the tourist as there are no guard railings at the edge of the cliff but tourists enjoy rafting to have views from different angles.
#13. Painted Cliffs, Tasmania
Those interested in geological ages can have best glimpses in Painted Cliffs of Maria Island in Tasmania. Percolation of ground water to the sandstone left traces of iron oxides, thus creating 100 meter stretch of beautiful patterns looking like paint work, millions of years ago. The weathering of the crystals have now formed honeycomb patterns. But it is still magical and clubbed with wildlife around makes it an incredible spot for the tourists.
#14. Kjeragbolten, Norway
One of the very popular tourist destinations in Norway, Kjeragbolten is located in crevasse of Kjerag mountain. It is a giant rounded bolder which got stuck solidly in the crack in this mountain for years. Tourists take pleasure in standing at the top after getting an easy access to this unique formation and it looks like a very daring moment of life. Surprisingly, tourist are not afraid of dropping from the cliff which is about a 1000 meters high.
#15. Faraglioni dei Ciclopi, Sicily, Italy
At Moon Rise
On the east coast of Sicily there is a beautiful site at Aci Trezza which is situated near Catania. Known as island of Cyclops, the rocks of bizarre shapes are called 'Faraglioni of Trezza' by locals. All these rocks have volcanic origin linked with the first activity of the famous Mount Etna in 1669. The site is of great archaeological importance attracting tourists.
#16. The Wave Rock, Arizona, USA
Clicking photographs is a delightful activity and it cannot be more so than at The Waive Rock at Arizona. Deciding best angle is a challenge as every degree of change makes it more fascinating. Permitted only to 20 persons in a day in view of its fragility, a visit to this magical sandstone rock formation is an incredible hiking experience though it can prove to be a harsh desert-like one, depending upon the prevailing weather conditions.
#17. (a) Loch Ard Gorge, Australia
Loch Ard was a clipper ship wrecked while heading to Melbourne from England in 1878. The ill-fated ship had 54 passengers and crew out of which only 2 survived. Both were washed into a cave now known as Loch Ard Gorge. It is a part of the Port Campbell National Park, Victoria which is popular among tourists for relaxing and swimming. However, erosion is taking place even now at this south-west coastal landmark.
#17. (b) Loch Ard Gorge (Now Tom and Eva, after collapse), Australia
As a result of erosion of these magnificent limestone formations, one of the arches at Loch Ard Gorge collapsed in June, 2009. This changed shape is now named as Tom and Eva (after Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael, 2 passengers who survived). These resultant two rock formations are now like other 12 Apostles in nearby areas.
#18. Split Apple Rock, New Zealand
Abel Tasman National Park in South Island of New Zealand has a beautiful rock called Split Apple Rock. Obviously, a rounded apple shaped rock formation split into two by virtue of the force generated by freezing and expansion of the water in a crack in the rock during one of the Ice Ages. High tide view of this granite rock is more fascinating.
There is a legend about this rock according to which it is result of fighting between Zeus and Poseidon who split it into two halves while fighting over Dione.
#19. Devil's Tower, USA
North-eastern Wyoming in the USA has the honour of the first United States National Monument in the form of Devil's Tower, which has both geological unique feature and also quite sacred and worship place to Lakota and other tribes. Formation of this giant structure is still debatable but it is considered to be an intrusive formation out of magma which might have been formed due to cooling action underground but erosion exposed it later. This erosion is happening even now due to rains and snow.
#20. Nanya Rock Formations, Taiwan
Absolutely Unique in Taiwan. Enjoy Nanya, a fantastic rock formation located nearly at 89 kms mark on the coastal Highway No. 2. A typical example of weathering and erosion due to wave action culminating in a ice cream cone shaped rock and many more. Conclude this visual feast of rocks by enjoying this ice cream cone rock which is visible in the 3rd minute of the video that follows.