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Rabu, 19 Mei 2021

Galapagos Islands’ famous Darwin’s Arch collapses due to erosion - NEWS.com.au

An iconic rock formation that was a major tourist attraction off the Galapagos Islands is gone after it collapsed into the Pacific Ocean.

Darwin’s Arch collapsed due to “natural erosion,” the Ecuadorean Ministry of Environment said.

“The collapse of Darwin’s Arch, the attractive natural bridge found less than a kilometre from the main area of Darwin Island, was reported,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said its collapse was a “consequence of natural erosion” and images distributed by officials show that only the two stone supporting columns remain.

The 43m formation, which is found in the northern part of the archipelago and named after the famous English biologist Charles Darwin – whose study of finches on the islands in the 19th century helped him describe the theory of evolution – is considered a premier diving location.

The Galapagos Islands, some 1000km off the coast of Ecuador, contain unique flora and fauna not seen anywhere else on earth and are part of a biosphere reserve.

The archipelago is a World Heritage site made up of 234 islands, inlets and rocks. Four of them are home to some 30,000 people.

Washington Tapia, the director of conservation at Galapagos Conservancy, said the loss of Darwin’s Arch would be felt among people across the islands.

“Obviously, all the people from the Galapagos felt nostalgic because it’s something we’re familiar with since childhood, and to know that it has changed was a bit of a shock,” he said, according to Al-Jazeera.

“However, from a scientific point of view, it’s part of the natural process. The fall is surely due to exogenous processes such as weathering and erosion which are things that normally happen on our planet.”

It’s not the only popular tourist destination that has been lost due to erosion.

The iconic Azure Window off the Maltese island of Gozo, which was one of its major tourist drawcards, collapsed after being battered by gale force winds and huge waves in 2017.

Geologists had warned the 28m natural arch had weakened due to natural erosion and could collapse at any time.

In the few years before its collapse the Azure Window served as the backdrop to Khal Drogo and Daenerys’ wedding in the HBO series Games of Thrones, which brought it new-found popularity.

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2021-05-19 09:05:58Z
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