Ask any diver and they will tell you that some of the most amazing places to SCUBA are in and around rock formations at the bottom of the sea. Seamount is the official term, a place where an underwater mountain forms all kinds of caves and inlets and other protected places for life to thrive. These same seamounts are the bane of anglers, magnets for snags and lost lures. Whether they are cursed by fishers or praised by divers, there are many marine rock formations around the world (above the waterline) that are worth mentioning. Some you may know, others you may not. Regardless, what follows are some of the world’s most amazing ocean rock formations.
Old Man of Hoy
If you ever want to visit the first rock on our list, then you might want to start making plans now. The Old Man of Hoy, a 450 foot sea stack is Britain’s tallest. But it might not be for long. The stack, formed by countless years of ocean erosion, already had one of its ‘legs’ partially collapse. Now geologists are saying that a large crack has been spotted running down from the top. Someday the whole stack will fall into the sea.
If you are into cryptozoology and ancient lost continents, then the second rock on our list might be just for you. Ball’s Pyramid, an 1,800 foot spire, protrudes from the ocean like a gigantic shark. It is what remains of a massive volcano and lies 19 kilometers from Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Scientists recently discovered Lord Howe Island stick insects (some of the rarest insects in the world) living on what was once considered a lifeless rock.
Our next rock on the list is not technically a rock. It’s composed of highly compacted volcanic ash, which isn’t rock. Consequently, Kicker Rock in the Galapagos is known as a tuff cone. It rises an impressive 500 feet above the water line, but what lies beneath has snorkelers giddy. The rock sits in an area of high tidal exchanges, which brings in big influxes of sea life. Simply put, Kicker Rock is a hotspot for sea life.
This is probably the most interesting place on this list. The Giant’s Causeway, on the north coast of Northern Ireland, looks for all the world like it was forged by the hand of man. It consists of over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, most of which are hexagonal and fit together so intricately that it seems impossible that it occurred naturally.
You will instantly recognize it by its shape. A 235 foot stack of hay sitting just off the beach. The world famous Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon, is a tourist attraction and probably one of the most iconic rocks in the world. But did you know the Oregon Coast is home to not one, but TWO haystack rocks? That’s right. Just a 65 miles to the south, in Pacific City, is another monolithic rock shaped like a mound of grass.
On Koekohe Beach near Moeraki on New Zealand’s Otago coast, you will find some of the most interesting stones in the world. Nature isn’t supposed to make things perfectly round, and these stones aren’t perfect, but they sure look it. Looks like a giant was playing marbles and left his toys laying around. The stones are hugely popular with tourists, for good reason, and are a hit with photographers.
There might be a little false advertising here. The 12 apostles are actually eight, but who’s counting, anyway, because the sandstone spires climbing 150 feet out of the Southern Ocean, alongside Australia’s famous Great Ocean Road, are nothing less than spectacular.
Villa on Dunbar Rock
If ever there was a place that could be described as a scuba diver’s paradise, this is it. Perched on a private cay off the mainland island of Guanaja, the dive resort gets rave reviews from almost everyone who visits. And for good reason. The place is gorgeous.