Iceland is home to many volcanoes. But there is one rock formation caused by volcanic eruptions that resemble mesmerizingly the head of an elephant with its trunk in the water. Read on to know more about Iceland’s Volcanic Elephant.
How did it come into existence?
It is believed that the Eldfell Volcano erupted and created this elephant and many other rock formations on the Heimaey. The eruption continued for many years and the volcano is still active in the current times. In 1973, an eruption caused substantial destruction on the island. Later the harbor area was saved due to the cooling operation that hardened the advancing lava with seawateras it touched the coast.
Where is it located?
In the Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), Heimaey is the largest land area. Furthermore, it’s the only island in the entire chain that has a perpetual human population. There is an airport and also hosts Iceland’s greatest golf courses. It’s a popular destination among the tourists as it has easy access and has theatrical sceneries including the Elephant Rock.
What’s so unique about the Elephant Rock?
Due to its realistic resemblance to an elephant head, people believe that it was formed by humans. The basalt rock gives the elephantine figure a skin texture that looks realistically wrinkled and grayish, just like a real elephant! But we all know it’s entirely natural. But there’s more. Many people see a mythical character Cthulhu, a sea monster with tentacles on his face like an octopus!
But there’s more to Heimaey
Heimaey’s major attraction is neither whales nor elephant rock. More than 4000 people live on the island and during the summer migration season, millions of puffins visit the island. There is an annual festival that is created around these birds that have colorful and cartoon-like heads.
And there is hiking too
Another hit with the tourists is hiking up the Eldfell Volcano. The mountain is easily accessible even to a casual hiker as the summit is merely 600 feet above sea level. Further, the island has well-defined trails on which you can even cross the lava beds and houses which were covered by the lava trail in 1973. There are well-placed markers that let the tourists know that they are standing on top of an earlier human settlement.
The Elephants Rock stands high out from Heimaey encircled by other sea cliffs and lesser islands. You have to board a boat and witness for yourself the petrified mythical sea elephant.