The Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment has reported that Darwin’s Arch, the “attractive natural bridge” off the Galápagos Islands, has collapsed. The ministry wrote that the structure succumbed to “natural erosion.”
The special rock formation was the subject of many a topside snap by visiting underwater photographers to the iconic big-animal dive spot. Sea lions and turtles can be found in the shallows below the arch, but the real action here is deeper down, where hammerheads cruise the currents as you hook into the rock.
The formation is, of course, named after Charles Darwin, whose studies of the Galápagos Islands’ biodiversity contributed to his famous theory of evolution. And it seems unlikely that the collapse of the arch will end the association with the English naturalist: Our friends at Master Liveaboards, who run trips to the islands, have already started calling them the “Columns of Darwin.”
Check out Joe Tepper’s photo of the formation from a few years ago, below, taken from DPG’s “Underwater Photographer’s Guide to the Galápagos.”
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