10 Spectacular Sea Stacks

Martina Rosado
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Old Harry Rocks

The Old Harry Rocks are a new name for the rows of sea stacks scenery that overlook the villages along the Northumberland coastline. The stacks are composed of a series of limestones, capped by a shale layer that is currently suggesting that it will soon topple them over in a great fall.

The stack itself is 120 meters high and was formed when layers of limestone were deposited on top of each other. The limestone formed as the top few meters of the chalk beds settled out and were deposited as layers of chalk until they eventually rose to the surface.

As layers were deposited the soft chalk was weathered and worn down and eventually the underlying slate bed was exposed. The once soft chalk was folded together into solid rock, and the softer limestone layers have been weathered away, leaving only the hard, slate-like limestone in the top part of the stack.

When the softer limestone has been weathered away, the structure collapses inwards, causing the stack to fall and potentially becoming a hazard to anyone below.

This particular stack is only found on the Cumbria Coast and is situated in the middle of the stacks. It is the tallest stack and was grown by massive erosion of the softer limestone layers.

The height of the stack has been built up by the collapse of the lower part of the stack into the earth below, and thus in all likelihood, will disappear forever in the not too distant future.

Lange Anna

There is a point along the 3/4 mile stretch of coastline off the small Greek town of Preveza that is treasured by everyone who loves the crashing waves. This stretch of coast is said to be the epicenter of the most powerful and ferocious waves in Europe, which are said to be able to knock people off their feet, break surfboards into pieces and even driven boats ashore.

The wave is known to possess such great strength that it not only busts waves already out in the ocean, it also rains down the tops of waves from 30 to 100 feet high as they crash against the cliff face.

This magnificent surfing spot has gained the name Lange Anna (Lange Anna’s Wave), and for good reason. The wave is said to be the most beautiful and desirable for surfers of any skill level, so much so that it has been featured in numerous surfing articles and movies.

In addition to being a beauty to behold, the wave also provides some unique scientific research opportunities that have not been observed underwater before the advent of this species of stromboli.

Little is known about the physics behind the rise and fall of the water behind the Lange Anna wave. Researchers have only been able to describe the wave to great detail by looking at satellite images taken from airplanes. They recorded the peak edge of the wave moving in at a speed of 7.5 mph, but that's it.

Sail Rock

Kicker Rock

Kicker Rock, also known as Mwewe Seamount, is a pyramidal coral atoll of the Seamounts of the Canary Islands in Spain.

The rock is made completely of cream-colored dead coral. It’s a sea stack, which has been built by erosion caused by waves. The rock is a popular tourist destination and can only be reached by boat.

The "kicker" rock is located off the coast of the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, west of Tenerife.

The rock's name comes from the Latin "callare", translating as "I call". Local fishermen used to call this funny, young rock. However, they have forgotten its nomenclature and still call it "rock."

The highest spot of the rock is 10 meters.· Its base has a diameter of more than 30 meters.

It can be seen from the Amazone Islands, almost 2000 kilometers away!

Bako Sea Stack

The Bako sea stack rises to a height of 10M and is in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. It is manifested as a circular rock formation that lies about 50km west of Ishigaki island, Okinawa, Japan. This sea stacks has no official name however is referred as Sea Stack after the rocky formation it formed.

The stack was formed as an outcome of erosion and was once a smaller rock formation that was eroded into what it is today. This formation is made up of volcanic ash and has eroded away by wind and tidal currents. The area is protected by local fisherman and divers who have used the area as a diving location, since 1959.

Image Courtesy: WikiCommons

Haystack Rock

These rocks are located in the shallow waters near the coast of California. It is an active geologic formation made up of petrified forest trees that were once under a shallow sea. This rock pile is one of the largest trees in the famous Petrified Forest National Park.

The formation is made of both large and small pieces of petrified wood. Most of the wood in the rock formation is in the form of stems. Each stem is stacked horizontally like a stack of logs. The white rock that you see on top is the petrified tree bark.

Because these trees formed in a shallow ocean, the wood is often broken in the severe depth changes down toward the ocean’s floor. The soil conditions created by the changing of the tide also makes it difficult to dig underground.

Many of the smaller pieces of wood have been swept out to sea, making it a much harder site to see then some other sea stacks. The only way to really see all of the Haystack is to go out on a boat.

This sea stack can be found near the shoreline south of Moss Landing, California.

Ko Tapu

New Zealand.

This incredible natural formation is known as Ko Tapu because it’s a holy site. It’s the tallest sea stack in New Zealand, about 80 meters tall and made of basalt. It’s a natural site, formed over thousands of years. The rock is so thick that it was used in designing the Honolulu International Airport.

The sea stack is popular among hikers, and you can get to the top via a trail. At the top you can find a 4 meter-wide ledge about 10 meters above the ocean. For the brave hiker, there is a beautiful view from here but also the possibility of a bad fall when the ledge is slick. To protect the site, only 200 people are allowed up at one time.

The sea stack is also a popular dive site. Because of the thick rock walls, it’s not just one single sequence but a series of smaller formations throughout where macro and mini life can be found.

Ko Tapu is only accessible by boat or a 3 hour hike in at Waipapa Bay. The trip into the bay and out again requires a special permit from the Department of Conservation.

Risin og Kellingin


Image of Risin Og Kellingin

Risin og Kellingin is the name of a rocky pinnacle that is located at the upper end of the Lysefjord. Risin og Kellingin is a striking rock formation, and is one of the most photographed natural sights in all of Norway.

Risin og Kellingin is located between the two fjords of Lysefjord and Sandefjord, just north of the capital Oslo.

Crossing the Lysefjord is a ferry ride, and entering the ferry from Bergen, which is 115 km away, is free for cars. To visit the site, it is recommended you have a recreational vehicle that can make a trek into the interior of the Lysefjord.

This majestic, rock formation can be seen from the center of the Lysefjord. It can be seen from some distance from the ferry as it sails past, and is the only solid land marking the entrance to the fjord. The picturesque view of this formation on land is said to look like an old ruined castle.

Risin og Kellingin (Norway) 3. Risin og Kellingin is the name of a treacherous rock formation that is located at the upper end of the Lysefjord.

Old Man of Hoy

The Twelve Apostles

(1,000 ft high)

The stack of eleven coastal rocky islands and one underwater cliff are located in Port Phillip Bay, near Melbourne, Australia. The stack represents remnants of the Y Wo Yung formation and stands 1,000 feet high.

The rocks were formed by erosion, rising a little above the sea within the last 270,000 years. Koalas live there as well as the coastal Cockatoo and the wedge-tailed eagle. In the past they have been a resting place for the Port Phillip Aboriginal people.

The names of the rock stacks were given by Captain James Cook in 1788. During his time in Australia, the Captain only ran aground once. The location, among the highest sea stacks in the world, must have been perceived as a protected oasis.