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Magnificent Monoliths Around the World

Updated on June 11, 2016
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A monolith is a geological feature that is made up of a single massive stone or rock. The word “Monolith” is derived from the Greek word “monolithus” meaning one or single stone.

Presenting some of the magnificent naturally made monoliths around the world -

Uluru or Ayers Rock in Australia
Uluru or Ayers Rock in Australia | Source

Uluru or Ayers Rock, Australia

Uluru also known as Ayers Rock was named by William Gosse in 1873. The rock dates back to 600 million years. It was originally under the sea but today it is seen 348 meters above the ground. An interesting fact to note is that the Uluru rock is buried 2.5 km below the ground.

Uluru rock is situated to the west of the Simpson Desert, not very far from the Red Center of Austalia. It is 3.6 Kms long and 1.9 Kms wide with a circumference of 9.4 km. The climb to reach the top of the monolith is 1.6 km. The surface of the rock is made of valleys, ridges, caves that are results of erosion that took place over a million years ago. The brilliant orange-red hue of the surface is due to the oxidation of the iron content in the monolith.

An amazing feature of the Uluru monolith is the change in colors that it undergoes from sunrise to sunset. The rock undergoes color changes ranging from an original terracotta hue to blue or violet at sunset to a flaming red in the mornings as the sun rises.

Sugar Loaf Mountain
Sugar Loaf Mountain | Source

Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro

Sugar Loaf Mountain is situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is located at the mouth of the Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. The mountain rises to 396 meters above sea-level. The name Sugar Loaf is because this mountain resembles the shape of a sugar loaf.

The Sugar Loaf Mountain is 600 million years old made up of granite and quartz. In 1565 the Portuguese explorers founded the city of Rio de Janeiro at the foot of the Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Sugarloaf Mountain is one among the most sought after tourist destinations. People climb right up to the peak to get a spectacular view of Rio de Janeiro. Most people take the cable car from Praca General Tiburico while some others prefer the helicopter ride from Morro da Ucra that goes around the Sugar Loaf Mountain with spectacular views from all sides.

Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar | Source

Rock of Gibraltar

The rock of Gibraltar is located off the south-west tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The Rock of Gibraltar is made out of limestone. The formation of this rock started during the Jurassic period about 200 million years ago. Gibraltar covers an area of 6.5 square kilometres. The highest point of this rock is 426 meters, and it has over one hundred caves.

The Rock of Gibraltar forms a peninsula projecting out into the Strait of Gibraltar from the southern coast of Spain. The Strait of Gibraltar divides Europe from Africa.

Rock of Gibraltar was supposed to be one of the Hercules Pillars and the other being the Jebel Musa. According to Greek legend, the two pillars were a part of a mountain range until Hercules tore them apart.

El Captain
El Captain | Source

El Captain,Yosemite, United States

El Captain is a gigantic granite monolith located in the north of Yosemite Valley. It reaches 3000 feet in height. El Captain was named by the Mariposa Battlion in1851.

EL Captain has two faces, the southwest, and southeast. Between these two faces lies a protruding area called "The Nose," a route that all climbers take to climb El Captain. Today there are over 70 routes to climb El Captain in Yosemite.

El Captain is the largest single piece of granite stone in the world, even bigger than Rock of Gibraltar. This rock is a challenge for rock climbers.

Devil's Tower
Devil's Tower | Source

Devil's Tower

The Devils Tower is located in North America, Crook County, Wyoming, near the Belle Fourche River.

Devil’s Tower is made of an igneous rock called Phonolite porphyry. It was formed about 65 millions of years ago. Although the Devil’s Tower is made up of igneous rocks, it was never a part of any volcano.

The Devil’s Tower was formed as magma or lava flowed up to the surface of the earth’s crust forcing itself through cracks and crevices of the sedimentary rocks. The magma cooled down in the form of condensed columns. This monolith was not visible for millions of years, it became visible as the forces of wind and water eroded the surrounding landscape.

The tower has a flat top with an area of 1.5 acres and has fluted sides. It is 867 feet high from the base and has an elevation of 1,558 meters above sea level. The color of the Devil’s Tower is a mix of grey and buff.

Devil’s Tower is famous for rock climbing. Each side of the mountain has climbing routes some of which are easy and some the toughest in the world.


References

uluru-australia.com

travel.nationalgeographic.com

educational.geographic.com

gibraltarinformation.com


Sugar Loaf Mountain Cable Car Ride

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    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 3 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      vellur, very well described. It is interesting to watch them and know the names they have acquired. Nature has really has given us spots to enjoy its grandeur. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pretty remarkable sites for sure. Lovely photographs along with your script. Thank you!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      What an interesting subject. I'm sure many people have seen some of these monoliths but most likely not all. I've never seen the Uluru in Australia!

      Interesting facts as well. I didn't know El Captain is larger than the Rock of Gibraltar. Thanks for an interesting journey.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow, these are just gorgeous. All the great info too, thanks so much for educating us and sharing the beauty! ^

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      srsddn thank you and yes nature has given us great places to enjoy.

      billybuc thank you for your visit. These monoliths are simply amazing.

      tillsontitan these monoliths are magnificent and has an interesting history. Thank you for reading and the many vote ups.

      Jackie Lynnley thank you, they are so very gorgeous and beautiful.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      You have chosen such an interesting topic to write on. I've really enjoyed your article. I'd never heard of El Captain before so I've learned a lot, too.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

      This is a fascinating hub and I learned several new things about monoliths. I love the pictures also. Well done. Voted up!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      BlossomSB thank you and am glad you enjoyed.

      Pamela99 thank you for your visit and the vote up.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I have not been to any of these amazing sites but your photos make me feel as if I have been there already. Fascinating topic and I learned lots from your sharing.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 3 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      These are fascinating especially the Devil's Tower. Fabulous photos and well researched, Interesting topic and I enjoyed reading the information you provide.

      Have a wonderful Christmas

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      teaches12345 thank your visit. These sites are really amazing and so very beautiful.

      Rosemay50 thank you for stopping by and am glad you enjoyed. Have a great Christmas!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      These sites sound and look amazing. I would love to see Ayers Rock in person one day!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      ChristyWrites thank you. These sites are amazing and worth the visit. I hope you get to visit one day.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Magnificent Monoliths Around the World is definitely magnificent as you have explained. The photos are awesome!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      DDE thank you for your visit, am glad you enjoyed the photos.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Nithya,

      Your article brought back memories of my travels. I've climbed Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Australian outback, and I've taken the cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Daisy am glad my hub brought back great travel memories. The view must have been spectacular!! Thank you for your visit.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Incredible places, great hub and some beautiful images.

      Up and sharing.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      tobusiness thank you for stopping by, the vote and share. Much appreciated.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I like the look of the Devil's Tower! Great hub, really enjoyed your descriptions and the photos. Voted awesome!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Suzanne Day thank you for reading and the vote up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Very interesting! The only one I've been to is Devil's Tower, but I'd like to see some of the others. The orange one is really unusual.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 7 months ago from Dubai

      FlourishAnyway these monoliths are amazing and I hope you get to visit all of them.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 months ago from Northern California, USA

      These are absolutely gorgeous photos. The only monolith I have seen with my own eyes is the one in Yosemite. Magnificent!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 months ago from Dubai

      MarleneB thank you for your visit and comment. Yosemite is truly magnificent.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 weeks ago from Houston, TX USA

      Ancient, monolithic structures have not been explained by modern science.

      Structures in the Andes and India have not been explained by modern science. These structures were built long ago or in a way science cannot explain.

      Much has been written about the remains of Puma Punku and Saksaywaman in the Andes. Pumapunku or Puma Punku is part of a large temple complex or monument group that is part of the Tiwanaku Site near Tiwanaku, Bolivia. Tiwanaku is significant in Inca traditions because it is believed to be the site where the world was created.

      Saksaywaman, Saqsaywaman, Sasawaman, Saksawaman, Sasaywaman or Saksaq Waman is a citadel on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru, the historic capital of the Inca Empire.

      Also see the Ancient City of Dark, in India and Baalbek in Lebanon. This all leads me to believe there were great civilizations in the ancient past we know nothing about.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 weeks ago from Dubai

      Jay C OBrien thank you for your visit and informative comments. Yes, I too believe that there were glorious civilizations in the past.

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 2 weeks ago from Dehra Dun, India

      Nithya, Jay has raised a very valid point. Modern science really cannot explain many a phenomenon including monolithic structures. But we all enjoy these.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 weeks ago from Dubai

      srsddn modern science cannot explain many amazing things on earth and maybe one day we will find answers to all out questions. Thank you for your visit and comment.

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