A sizable percentage of our planet is made of rocks. While several rock formations have changed little over the years due to their geography and extent of exposure to various other elements, many others have been extremely transformed to reveal a timeline of earth's physical history.
On the International Rock Collection Day, we bring you the 20 most incredible natural rock formations around the world. The listed natural rock formations were created over centuries, few of them have formed over millions of years, using the hardest materials. Today, thanks to our nature who is a patient artist, we have over 100 natural rock formations around the world.
Below listed rock formations will surely inspire you to head outdoors and explore these incredible formations!
Australia & New Zealand region
1. Wave Rock, Australia
The 350 feet long and 47 feet high rock formation is located right outside of Hyden (close to Perth) in Western Australia. Formed with monzogranite, if photographed in the right way, the rock appears to be in the process of ‘breaking’ on unsuspecting visitors. You could get an Australia visa and get a look for yourself.
2. Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand
The massive boulders of calcite-fused mud took over 5 million years to form under the seafloor off the coast of Otago in New Zealand. Like Devils Tower located in the United States, this formation remained hidden until uncovered gradually by forces of erosion.
3. Hanging Rock, Australia
One of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the Grose Valley of New South Wales in Australia, the hanging rock is a 100 meter high block of sandstone detached from the adjacent cliff face.
4. 12 Apostles, Australia
Being one of the most photogenic rock formations in New South Wales, 12 Apostles can be best experienced with an aerial view through a helicopter tour. Located at Port Campbell National Park, this series of limestone stacks is probably the best known site along the Great Ocean Road.
5. Man-Pupu-Nyor, Russia
Also known as the ‘Little Mountain of the Gods’, this rock formation is on the hills named ‘the Seven Giants’ in Komi Republic of Russia.
6. Goreme Fairy Chimneys, Turkey
Located in Cappadocia, Goreme Fairy Chimneys is one of the best places to see hundreds of strange rock formations which are the result of wind and water erosion of two different volcanic layers. Due to the ease of carvings into the tuff (consolidated volcanic ash); many of the fairy chimneys (rocks) have been hollowed out over the centuries to create monasteries, storage facilities and even houses. Today, some structures function as hotels, and hot air balloon ride is one of the most popular tourist activities in this region.
7. Shilin Stone Forest, China
Formed with a set of karst, the stones in these rocks are thought to be 270 million years old. The area was an ocean floor and the strong flow of water created these majestic peaks.
8. Wulingyuan, China
Popularised after the Hollywood movie ‘Avatar’, these rock formation appears to be floating if visited during a good foggy day. In fact, you can take a ‘magical tour to Avatar’s floating mountain’ to explore these imposing rock formation.
9. Deer Cave, Malaysia
Located in Gunung Mulu National Park in Miri, these caves are 4.1 kms long with 169meters of width and 148meters of height. Also known as Gua Rusa or Gua Payau, the cave derived its name from the deer that visit this cave to lick salt-bearing rocks. So what are you waiting for? Get a Malaysia visa and go check it out for yourself.
10. Wadi Rum, Jordan
Consisting of majestic valleys and canyons, Wadi Run is a mix of granite and Sandstone Mountains in the southern Jorden, in Aqaba. It is a popular destination for eco-adventure activities among trekkers and climbers.
11. Pura Batu Bolong, Bali
With temples built on the top of this formation, Batu Balong features a unique temple in heaven. Located on the beach of Segara Batu Balong, Pura Besakih, the temple located on this mountain is known as the largest temple in Bali, perhaps one of the biggest Hindu temples in the world.
12. Coron, Philippines
Located on the third-largest island in Philippines, the area around the wrecks has rock formation which is an excellent site for snorkelling, diving and other underwater activities. Dive sites around Coron include multiple different reef dive sites and ‘Günter´s Cave’, also known as Cathedral Cave because during a certain time of the day, the sun throws a beam of light through a hole in the cave ceiling, illuminating the inside.
13. Yana Rocks, India
Situated in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka in India, Yana is famous for two massive rock outcrops which are composed of solid black, crystalline Karst limestone. The place is also considered a biodiversity hotspot in the Sahyadri hill range.
14. White Desert, Egypt
Also known as Sahara el Beyda, the mesmerising White Desert is located in the town of Farafra in western Egypt. It features large tracts of chalk rock that covers the ground, some of which has been shaped into unbelievable formations by sandstorms.
15. Externsteine, Germany
A distinctive rock formation located in the district of Lippe in Germany, it consists of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. The site remains of high archaeological interest and a source of controversy.
16. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
This is an area in Country Antrim in Northern Ireland which consists of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. The rock formation is a result of an ancient volcanic eruption.
17. Svartifoss, Iceland
Located in the Skaftafell National Park, Svartifoss, also known as ‘Black Fall’ derived its name from the dark lava columns that frame it. These basalt columns have provided inspiration to many architects around the world.
18. Bryce Canyon National Park, United States of America
With over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, these rock formations are placed in a national park of Utah. Definitely worth getting that US visa and heading on to the great United States of America.
19. La cancha de bochas, Argentina
Ischigualasto Provincial Park, also known as ‘Valley of the Moon’ is a protected area in the north-east of San Juan Province in Argentina. The park is spread across an area of 603.7 square kms and the formation contains deposits which are millions of years old. It is the only place in the world where nearly all of the Triassic (Carnian deposits) is represented in an undisturbed sequence of rock deposits.
20. Valle de la Luna, Bolivia
Situated in the La Paz Department in Bolivia, it comprises an area where erosion has worn away the majority of a mountain, composed mainly of clay instead of rock and resulting in tall peaks. Due to the difference in mineral content in every individual mountain, the sides of the mountains are in different colours and create striking optical illusions.
Author : Anita Jain