Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment says the collapse was the result of natural erosion.
Darwin’s Arch, a famous formation of natural rocks in the Galapagos Islands, has collapsed into the sea as a result of erosion, Ecuadorian environmental officials said.
Photographs posted on social media by Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment showed that the rubble at the top of the arch had crumbled into the ocean with the two supporting columns still standing.
“We report that the iconic Darwin’s Arch collapsed,” the ministry wrote in Spanish on its Facebook page on Tuesday.
The 43-meter-high rock formation, named after British naturalist Charles Darwin, is located at the northernmost tip of the Galapagos Islands and is a popular spot for divers.
Once part of the nearby island of Darwin, the bow is famous for the variety of its underwater life, including hammerhead shark schools.
“Viously, obviously all the people of the Galapagos felt nostalgic because it’s something we’ve known since childhood and knowing it has changed was a bit of a shock,” said Washington Tapia, director of conservation at the Galapagos Conservancy. “However, from a scientific point of view, it is part of the natural process. The fall is probably due to exogenous processes such as weathering and erosion, which are things that normally happen on our planet.
The Galapagos is a remote volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, located 600 miles (965 kilometers) west of Ecuador and home to unique flora and fauna that inspired the theory of the evolution of the British naturalist Charles Darwin. .
The 234 islands, coves and rocks are part of a biosphere reserve and are declared a World Heritage Site. Four of them house about 30,000 people.