Taiwan’s iconic Elephant Trunk Rock collapses
By Michelle De Pacina
December 19, 2023
The Elephant Trunk Rock, a renowned natural attraction in northern Taiwan, has collapsed into the sea due to natural weathering.
The announcement: The Ruifang District Office in New Taipei City reported that the rock formation, named for its resemblance to an elephant trunk, had fallen at about 1:55 p.m. local time on Dec. 16 due to seawater erosion and natural weathering. The rock body, particularly the “elephant’s trunk,” broke off from the rest of the structure after suffering from the natural disintegration.
“Due to long-term Okinawa and natural weathering, the Elephant Nose rock body was partially broken. The original vision of the elephant nose has been lost. Due to the current geological and weather instability near the elephant nasal rock body, it is now closed and closed. I urge the public not to go again!!” district officials said on Facebook while sharing photos of the broken rock formation.
About the attraction: The Elephant Trunk Rock had been a popular tourist attraction for years, where visitors often climbed its “head” for photo opportunities. Initially a military-protected zone, it was opened to the public in 2000. The site, which is situated on a narrow strip of land called Shen’ao, was closed to visitors in 2010 due to safety concerns of geological and weather instability.
Natural occurrences and concerns: Professor Shen Chuan-chou from National Taiwan University’s Department of Geosciences told CNN that the collapse of the rock was a “natural” occurrence, attributing it to the continuous impact of seawater and wind on the rock formation.
Geologists in Taiwan are also expressing concern about the stability of the “Queen’s Head” rock, which bears a resemblance to Queen Elizabeth’s bust. The rock’s circumference is reported to be decreasing annually, raising the risk of collapse.
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