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07 May, 2012

10 Beautiful and Stunning Sea-Stack Formations

When talking about beautiful geological landforms stacks definitely hold an important place. Stacks are formed due to a variety of natural phenomena like wind, water and time; hydraulic actions during erosion play a vital role in the formation of sea stacks. They have steep and vertical columns of rock in the sea. These can be found very close to the coast of the sea. Stacks are a popular destination of rock climbing.

Ball’s Pyramid, Lord Howe Island, Australia

Ball's Pyramid, erosional remains of shield volcano and a caldera.
Ball’s Pyramid is in reality the erosional remains of a shield volcano and a caldera; caldera is created when a land collapses due to volcanic eruption. It got its name as it was discovered by Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball in the year 1788; it was he who discovered the Lord Howe Island around the same period. Ball’s Pyramid is 1,844 feet high and therefore the world’s tallest volcanic stack.

Old Man of Hoy, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Old Man of Hoy, A prominent landmark when ferrying from Thurso to Stromness
Old Man of Hoy is a 449 feet high red sandstone sea stack in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. This is a prominent landmark when ferrying from Thurso to Stromness. There were no indications of a sea stack in the maps drawn between 1600 and 1750; this leads to the belief that this was discovered 400 years back. This sea stack is in the verge of collapsing.

Old Man of Stoer, Sutherland, Scotland

Old Man of Stoer, a famous climbing route in Scotland
Old Man of Stoer is a 197 feet high sea stack close to the villages of Culkein and Stoer. Old Man of Stoer is famous for its climbing route; however, it is believed that it is very tough to climb when the weather is windy.

Lange Anna, Heligoland, Germany

Lange Anna, famous tourist attraction and a natural monument of Germany
Lange Anna is also called as Long Anna or Tall Anna; it is 154 feet high sea stack in the North Sea island of Heligoland in Germany. It is a point of tourist attraction in Germany; however, tourists are not allowed to climb the rock. Lange Anna in many ways resemble Old Man of Hoy sea stack of Scotland. Lange Anna was declared natural monument of Germany in the year 1969.

The Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia

The Twelve Apostles, a popular limestone sea stack tourist attraction
These are a group of Miocene limestone rocks with a height of 147 feet; these are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia. These were called as the Sow and Piglets until 1922; it was changed to The Twelve Apostles for tourism purposes even though there are only nine sea stacks. These rocks are in the verge of collapsing and already one stack collapsed on July 2005. Helicopter tours are arranged for tourists and are believed that nearly two million people visit this site.

Sugar Loaf, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Largest post-glacial erosion feature of this island
Sugar Loaf, a place for ritual burials in the earlier periods and now a famous tourist attraction
Doesn’t the name sound yummy? Sugar Loaf is a sea stack in the Mackinac Islands and is 75 feet high and is believed to be the largest post-glacial erosion in the Straits of Mackinac. This consists of resistant limestone rock consisting of various broken mineral fragments. Why is it called Sugar Loaf? People who live near the frontier Great Lake loves maple sugar, which is packed in cone-shaped baskets; as the rock resembles this shape, the rock got its name as Sugar Loaf. In earlier periods, this area was used for ritual burials.

Ko Tapu, Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Ko Tapu, became a popular tourist spot after featuring in a James Bond movie
One can witness the Ko Tapu sea stack in the Khao Phing Kan or ko Khao Phing Kan Islands of Thailand. These islands are popularly known as the James Bond islands after featuring in a James Bond movie.

Ko Tapu is a 66 feet high limestone rock; the diameter of this sea stack increases by 4 meters from 13 feet and by 8 meters from 26 feet. There is a local legend about Ko Tapu’s formation. It explains that a fisherman once didn’t get any fishes even after numerous attempts and got only one nail. It seems he kept throwing this nail and catching it and finally cut the nail into two halves as he was very furious that he was not able to catch a single fish. One half of this cut nail rooted itself and became the Ko Tapu sea stack. There is also a scientific theory explaining the formation of Ko Tapu which is the constant erosion.

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick, Canada

The Flower Pot Rocks or The Rocks
Hopewell Rocks, on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean
Hopewell Rocks is known by various other names like “The Flowerpot Rocks” or “The Rocks.” This is a sandstone rock. You can find these sea stacks at the upper reaches of Bay of Fundy at Hopewell Cape. This area experiences a heavy tidal range and therefore the base of these rock formations get covered with water almost two times a day.

Old Harry Rocks, Dorset, England

A view of Old Harry from the north Studland Bay

Image source
These are a set of two chalk sea stacks; chalk is a soft, porous and white sedimentary rock containing mineral calcite. One can get a spectacular view of these rocks from the Dorset division of South West Coastal Path. It is believed that earlier this was an arch formed due to erosion and in the long run, the arch collapsed to form two rocks. A research team headed by Dr. C.P. Buckle is trying to protect this rock as it is in the brink of collapsing.

The Needles, Isle of Wright, England

The Needles, featured as a natural wonder of Southern England in a TV programme.

Image source
The Needles too are chalk sea stacks similar to the Old Harry Rocks; the only exception is that this is a set of three sea stacks unlike the Old Harry Rocks which is a set of two sea stacks. At the end of this sea stack is the lighthouse built in the year 1859. This was featured as a natural wonder of Southern England in a TV programme. There is small amusement park at the Needles Pleasure Park located at the top of the cliff. This is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Isle of Wright region.


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