10 Most Amazingly Balanced Rock Formations in the World - Visit Before They Disappear
Balanced Rock Formations
Balanced rocks are geological formations which have been fascinating tourists from different parts of the world. Typically, they are precariously balanced and most of them have been defying the laws of gravity for long periods. Some of these weigh thousands of tons but have managed to maintain their positions irrespective of erosion, earthquakes and other vagaries of nature.
These unique rock formations may be due to glacial transportation or landslides resulting in perching of some of these rocks or big boulders. Some of these are carved by nature but might continue to hold their balance even after extensive erosion by wind or water. Some hoodoos maintain their balancing position at the top, though their base is reduced sufficiently, to call it a balanced rock.
During winter of 1975/1976 a small balancing rock called 'Chip Off The Old Block' in the Arches National Park, Utah fell down. This was adjoining to the existing balanced rock there. No wonder, more may disappear in some part of the world. It is, therefore, high time to visit some of these.
This Hub presents 10 such amazingly balanced rocks in different parts of the world.
#1. Balanced Rock, Arches National Park, Utah, USA
Arches National Park, Utah
Location: Arches National Park, Grand County, Eastern Utah, United States.
Description: Arches National Park is full of red sandstone forms like arches, spires and balancing rocks. Located at nearly 14.5 kms from the entrance of the Park, the Balanced Rock is about 128 ft in height with a big balancing rock at the top, rising about 55 ft from the base. The beauty of this Rock is that its shape changes dramatically as you take a loop trail leading to its base. Starting from the parking place itself, the changes in the shape of this picturesque rock formation are worth viewing. Views of the snow covered La Sal Mountains in the background make it quite spectacular.
The other structure standing nearby also had a similar but smaller balance rock which fell down earlier.
#2. Balancing Rock, Nova Scota, Canada
Trail for Balancing Rock
Location: St. Mary's Bay on Long Island, between Tiverton and Central Grove, Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada
Description: This amazing rock formation is quite fascinating. The 9 meter high column is believed to be a part of the North Mountain Basalt flow of lava during Jurassic Age. It is standing at the edge of a big rock below and it is amazing to find spaces between the rocks. It is hard to believe that it is happening.
It is easy to get down using the stairs but may be strenuous and hard for some to ascend all the way nearly 235 wooden steep stairs, specially without proper footwear. There are rest areas also in between. Ferry services between Digby Neck and Long Island are available. The trail through green forest is beautiful.
Enjoy the Hike to the Balancing Rock
#3. Golden Rock, Kyaiktiyo Hill, Myanmar
Location: Kyaiktiyo Hill (Eastern Yoma Mountains), Near Kyaikhto town, Mon State, Myanmar
Description: It is more known to be a Buddhist pilgrimage than a tourist spot. About 25 ft high granite boulder having a circumference of about 50 ft is sitting on an inclined plane with an extremely small area of contact at the top of Kyaiktiyo Hill. Like many other balanced rocks it is defying gravity, even after 24 ft of gilded pagoda built over it. According to a legend, it is perched on a strand of Buddha's hair.
It is overcrowded from November to March. The journey is tedious in open-top, jam packed trucks through jungles which is like a roller coaster. But it gives an opportunity to have a panoramic view of the spectacular green mountains. And then there is a tedious and steep upward 1.5 km journey which may take about one hour or more.
Only men are allowed to touch the rock. Women have to stop short of the bridge which has to be crossed for fixing square shaped golden leaves on the Golden Rock.
#4. Idol Rock, Brimham, UK
Location: Brimham Moor, North Yorkshire, England. It is about 2 miles to the north of Summerbridge in Nidderdale.
Description: Brimham Moor has many rocks with odd shapes and some of these are curiously balanced. Millstone grit erosion by water, glaciation and wind has caused these amazing shapes. The Idol Rock is very popular because of its huge size and shape. It is estimated to be over 200 tons, but balancing over a small pyramid shape stone. One wonders how long will continue to stay like this.
#5. Devils Marbles, Australia
Location: Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, 105 kms south of Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, Australia. Nearest small town - Wauchope, at 9 kms.
Description: Locally called Karlu Karlu, the Devils Marbles are huge, round granite boulders formed due to erosion millions of years back. They are of varying sizes, some go up to 7 meters in diameter. Quite a few of them are staying in precarious balanced position. Others have split from middle, making them to be one of the most visited sites in this area.
The Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve is a sacred site with red boulders for the Aborigines.
#6. Peyro-Clabado, Sidobre, France
Location: Haut-Languedoc Nature Reserve, Sidobre, Tarn, Central France. Nearest towns - Lacrouzette, at 3 kms. and Castres at a distance of 18 kms.
Description: Sidrobe is full of extraordinary granite boulders and unusual landscapes. Peyro Clabado is a huge granite boulder balanced on a pedestal. About 780 tons boulder is resting on a platform touching only one square meter.
#7. Mother and Child Rock, Zimbabwe
Mother and Child Rock
Location: Matobo Hills, Matopos National Park, Zimbabwe. It is 35 kms south of Bulawayo in Southern part of Zimbabwe.
Description: Mother and Child Rock is an inselberg in the Matopos National Park, which has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. It has been formed into this fantastic shape due to weathering of granite rocks at about 1475 meters above sea level. Erosion of the softer parts of these rocks resulted into different shapes. These rocks are piled up like building blocks.
One of the reasons of the popularity of this Rock is its featuring on the currency of Zimbabwe.
#8. Balanced Rock, en route Orla Perć, Poland
Location: En-route Orla Perc, Tatra Mountains, Poland.
Description: This is a real adventure in Tatra Mountains. The rock is balanced at the edge of a cliff. Not very high, about 3 meters only and may be weighing between 10-15 tons. Going up and down on the mountain ridge is risky as the path is very narrow and one has to use ropes and chains at places. Orla Perc means Eagle's Path in English. Only experienced climbers should venture out here.
The beautiful part is the breathtaking panorama of this area. But it may not be possible for everyone to reach here.
#9. Peak Pigeon Chest, Brazil
Location: Macae, RJ, Brazil, South America. Nearest town Arraial do Sana'a
Description: This rock formation is amazing as from certain angles its shape resembles a figure of a pigeon perched on a stone. At an altitude of 1400 meters, it has a challenging ascent and a guided path has to be followed. But on reaching the top one can have a panoramic, unique and natural view of the coast of Macae. On the way there are forests and many waterfalls.
#10. Balanced Rock, Garden of the Gods, Colorado, USA
Balanced Rock, Garden of the Gods
Location: Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Description: This amazing rock at the Garden of the Gods Park is holding its 700 tons of weight for thousands of years. Much faster erosion of the bottom soft layer of shale than the upper harder sandstone and conglomerate has resulted in a precarious and breathtaking position of this enormous rock.
It is very peaceful and looks different on different times of the day. Dreamland for photography using a variety of trails and the stunning views around.