The Twelve Apostles. Australia
The Twelve Apostles – is a series of the Miocene limestone rocks in the Indian Ocean near the coast of the Port Campbell National Park, Australia. They are located between the cities of Port Campbell and Princeton on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, 200 km from Geelong, or 270 km south-west of Melbourne.
First, the place was called “Sow and piglets”; the island in this case was a pig and piglets – the separated rocks. Then the name was changed to the “Twelve Apostles” in the 1950s. It was done to attract more tourists and now it is a popular point of interest, which is annually visited by about two million of tourists. You can order various guided tours, even a helicopter ride. This can be done at the information center on the island.
It is noteworthy that the stone group had only 9 rocks; now there are only 8 of them and just seven apostles can be seen from the viewing platforms. Such a trouble has happened in July 3, 2005, when one of the rocks collapsed, unable to withstand the impact of erosion.
Geologists claim that the age of these rock formations ranges from 10 to 20 million years. The height of some of them reaches 45 meters. This natural monument was created by the action of erosion. The harsh weather conditions of the Southern Ocean gradually blurred the soft limestone, forming caves in the cliffs. Then they turned into arches and collapsed in process of time, leaving these stately rocks. About 2 million years ago, the water level of the ocean dropped and these magnificent cliffs became visible above the surface.
The rocks are still susceptible to erosion from the stormy waves; the erosion rate at the bottom of the limestone columns is about 2 cm per year. In future, it may lead to increase of the number of “Apostles”.