Taiwan’s Elephant Trunk Rock loses its ‘nose’ to erosion and weathering
A famed natural attraction in northern Taiwan, the Elephant Trunk Rock, has ceased to exist, no thanks to the very same forces of nature that formed it.
Getting its name from its resemblance to a pachydermal head and trunk, the rock collapsed and fell into the sea at about 2pm on Dec 16, according to the Ruifang District Office in New Taipei City.
Part of the “elephant’s trunk” disintegrated and broke off from the rest of the rock mass owing to long periods of seawater erosion and natural weathering, the office said on Facebook, adding that the site near the Shen’ao promontory is now closed to visitors.
Part of Fanziao Hill, less than 8km away from Jiufen, Elephant Trunk Rock has been a popular tourist attraction, with visitors scaling its “head” for photo opportunities, sometimes with fatal outcomes.
In 2018, a 62-year-old woman fell into the sea during an excursion to the rock formation with her husband.
Once a military-protected zone, the area was opened to the public in 2000. But in 2020, the Ruifang District Office cordoned off the area to dissuade visitors from climbing onto the rock formation.
The area near Shen’ao port is also a spot that attracts divers and snorkellers because of its coral reefs and spectacular scenery.
For now, the trunkless rock will remain at the discretion of the winds and sea, with its former self consigned to history.
Cue. (2023v, December 18). Taiwan’s Elephant Trunk Rock loses its ‘nose’ to erosion and weathering. The Straits Times. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/taiwan-s-elephant-trunk-rock-loses-its-nose-to-erosion-and-weathering