Darwin's Arch with Darwin Island in background, Galápagos, Ecuador
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Last days of a famous sea arch. Darwin’s Arch, Galápagos
On Darwin Day, we visit Darwin’s Arch, named after the famous naturalist Charles Darwin who was born on this day in 1809. The last time this sea arch looked like this was on 17 May 2021. That’s when it collapsed due to natural erosion, becoming a pile of rubble between what is now two pillars. Some locals and scientists have renamed the rock formation the Pillars of Evolution, a nod to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.
Sea arches are found all over the world, often where cliffs meet the sea. They're formed as waves erode the underside of a section of rock, leaving the top to bridge the gap. Darwin’s Arch is located south-east of Darwin Island, which is part of the Galápagos Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.