10 incredible sea stacksPosted by staff / December 3, 2011
Sea coasts around the world bear the marks of a sound whipping by wind and water over the millennia, yet one of the most breathtaking accomplishments of Mother Nature’s fury is the sea stacks, columns of rock that have been separated from the headland over time. Some were once arches that collapsed leaving only a lone man standing and many are on the brink of collapse, but their beauty attracts both tourists, climbers and, of course, the occasional base jumper.
Scienceray has collected ten examples of these geological wonders (and we dug up a video of three crazy guys jumping off one of them). Enjoy.
Hopewell Rocks, Canada
These stacks, individually named “ET,” “Mother-in-Law,” and “Lover’s Arch” were formed by the record high tides in the Bay of Fundy, which reach up to fifty feet twice a day. They are comprised of sandstone and conglomerate rock and are also known as the “Flowerpot Rocks” for the foliage atop them.
Ball’s Pyramid, Australia
Photo credit: Fanny Schertzer
Ball’s Pyramid, the king of all stacks (or perhaps we should say “pharaoh”) towers 600 feet higher than the Empire State Building at a breathtaking 1,843 feet and is located in the Lord Howe Island Marine Park.
In 2001, a large species of insect commonly known as a tree lobster or Lord Howe Island stick insect was discovered clinging to the stack eighty years after it was believed to have gone extinct.
Rats introduced to the larger islands are to blame for the six-inch insect’s demise, much like the plight of the recently-discovered giant weta. Scientists captured several insects to breed, which they finally did successfully, and may be introduced to the mainland.
The Old Man of Hoy, Scotland
Made of red sandstone, the Old Man of Hoy is believed to be about 400 years old and nearing the end of its majestic life. It stands at 449 feet and might look familiar to early MTV fans as the Eurythmics featured it in the video “Here Comes the Rain Again.” It’s also a popular climbing site, one example of which you can see below.
Photo credit: Fotolia