Mother Nature truly amazes me sometimes. The other day I stumbled across a picture of a mountain, one side of this mountain had a rock face that had been delicately sculpted by the wind and rain over millions of years to form what could be described as the perfect art form.
My curiosity was sparked so off I went in search of more of these natural rock masterpieces. Low and behold after hours of searching I discovered a plethora of these majestic forms.
I decided to put this post together to share my discoveries and piece together what is hopefully the most comprehensive list of incredible rock formations out there.
These formations of different colored sandstone were shaped after thousands of years of rain and wind, and the region has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2010.
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Preikestolen is a massive cliff in Forsand, Ryfylke, Norway. Each year it is visited by between 150,000 and 200,000 people, making it one of the most visited natural tourist attractions in Norway.
Cappadocia lies in eastern Anatolia, in the center of Turkey. The relief consists of a high plateau pierced by volcanic peaks.
Antelope Canyon is the most visited and photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. It is located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona.
The Torres Paine (Spanish for “Towers of Paine”) is a National Park in Patagonian Chile famously known for three immense rock towers give the park its name.
The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is located on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles (4.8 km) northeast of the town of Bushmills.
The Moeraki Boulders are unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach between Moeraki and Hampden in New Zealand.
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, also known as Golden Rock, is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State, Myanmar. According to legend, the Golden Rock itself is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha’s hair.
Half Dome is a granite dome in Yosemite National Park, located in northeastern Mariposa County, California. It is possibly Yosemite’s most familiar rock formation.
Ko Tapu is a tall islet which is a part of Ao Phang Nga National Park in southern Thailand. In 1974 Ko Tapu was shown in the James Bond movie – “The Man with the Golden Gun”, since it is also known as James Bond Island.
Zuma Rock is a large monolith located in Niger State, Nigeria. It is immediately north of Nigeria’s capital Abuja, along the main road from Abuja to Kaduna, and is sometimes referred to as “Gateway to Abuja”.
Savandurga is a hill 60 km west of Bangalore (Karnataka) off the Magadi road in India. The hill is considered to be among the largest monolith hills in Asia.
Sugarloaf Mountain is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean.
El Peñón de Guatapé is a monolithic formation located at the town and municipality of Guatapé (86 km northeast of Melín or 2 hours by bus) in Antioquia, Colombia.
The Stawamus Chief (often referred to as simply The Chief) is a granite dome located adjacent to the town of Squamish, British Columbia.
Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is the home of a pilgrimage temple, the Pura Tanah Lot and a popular tourist attraction.
Hvítserkur is a 15-meter-high basalt rock formation located by the eastern shore of Vatnsnes in Iceland.
Wadi Rum, also known as The Valley of the Moon is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan to the east of Aqaba. It is the largest wadi in Jordan.
The Peñón de Ifach is a massive limestone outcrop emerging from the sea in Calp, (near Valencia) Spain. It is linked to the shore by rock debris and is a nesting site for colonies of sea birds and other birds.
Árbol de Piedra “Stone Tree” is an isolated rock formation in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve of Sur Lípez Province, Bolivia.
El Capitan is a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, near its western end. The granite monolith extends about 3,000 feet (900 m) from base to summit along its tallest face and is one of the world’s favorite challenges for rock climbers and BASE jumpers.
The impressive Balancing Rock formation in the Motabo Hills, Zimbabwe resembles a ”Mother and her Child”.
Monument Rocks are a series of large chalk formations in Gove County, Kansas, rich in fossils. It is a National Natural Landmark.
Turtle Rock is a famous rock formation in the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park in Mongolia. It is popular with tourists and especially rock climbers.
The White Desert of Egypt is located north of the town of Farafra. The desert has a white, cream color and has massive chalk rock formations that have been created as a result of the occasional sandstorm in the area.
Roque de Agando is a prominent rock formation on the island of La Gomera in the Canary Islands. It is one of La Gomera’s most striking features and is frequently used as a symbol for the island.
The Tsingy Rouge (Red Tsingy) is a stone formation of red laterite formed by erosion. It is situated approximately 60 km south of Antsiranana near the town of Sadjoavato in northern Madagascar.
Bryce Canyon is not a canyon but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters in southwestern Utah in the United States. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks.
Sigiriya (also known as Lion Rock) is located in the central Matale District of the Central Province, Sri Lanka in an area dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters high.
Yeliu Geopark is on the cape of the town of Wanli, New Taipei, Taiwan. Known by geologists as the Yeliu Promontory, forms part of the Daliao Miocene Formation. A number of rock formations have been given imaginative names based on their shapes.
Wave Rock is a natural rock formation that is shaped like a tall breaking ocean wave. It forms the north side of a solitary hill, which is known as “Hyden Rock.” This hill, which is a granite inselberg, lies about 3 km (2 mi) east of the small town of Hyden and 296 km (184 mi) east-southeast of Perth, Western Australia.
Brimham Rocks are balancing rock formations on Brimham Moor in North Yorkshire, England. The most well-known rock formation being Idol Rock (pictured).
The Devil's Marbles are located south of Tennant Creek area of the Northern Territory in Australia. Karlu Karlu as they were originally known is of great cultural and spiritual significance to local Aboriginal people and is one of the oldest religious sites in the world.
Drangarnir is the collective name for two sea stacks between the islet Tindhólmur and the island Vágar in the Faroe Islands.
The Katskhi Pillar is a natural limestone monolith located at the village of Katskhi in western Georgia.
Devils Tower is an igneous intrusion or laccolith in the Black Hills near Hulett, northeastern Wyoming, United States. Devils Tower was the first declared United States National Monument, established on September 24, 1906.
Kjeragbolten is a boulder wedged in a mountain crevasse, suspended above a 984-meter deep abyss. It is a popular tourist destination and is accessible without any climbing equipment located in the Kjerag mountain in Rogaland, Norway.
Aso Rock is a large outcrop that is on the outskirts of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. The Aso Rock is a 400-meter monolith and is the city’s most noticeable feature.
Moon Hill is a hill with a natural arch through it just outside Yangshuo in southern China’s Guangxi autonomous region. It is so named for a wide, semicircular hole through the hill, all that remains of what was once a limestone cave formed in the phreatic zone. most formations in the region, it is karst.
The Metéora (“middle of the sky”) is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos.
Arches National Park is a U.S. National Park in eastern Utah. The park is located on the Colorado River just north of Moab. It is known for preserving over 2000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous icate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.
The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Their proximity to one another has made the site a popular tourist attraction.
As Catedrais beach translates as “Beach of the Cathedrals”. It is the touristic name of Praia de Augas Santas. The Spanish beach is located in the Ribadeo municipality on the Cantabric coast.
The Belogradchik Rocks are a group of strange shaped sandstone and conglomerate rock formations located on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains near the town of Belogradchik in northwest Bulgaria. The Belogradchik Rocks have been declared a Natural Landmark by the Bulgarian government and are a major tourist attraction in the region.
Flowerpot Island is an island in Georgian Bay, in the Canadian province of Ontario and is a part of Fathom Five National Marine Park. The name of the island comes from two rock pillars on its eastern shore, which lo like flower pots.
Torghatten is a mountain on Torget island in Brønnøy municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is known for its characteristic hole, or natural tunnel, through its center. It is possible to walk up to the tunnel on a well-prepared path, and through it on a natural path.
Chiricahua National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service located southeast of Willcox, Arizona in the United States. It is famous for its extensive vertical rock formations.
The Manpupuner rock formations or the Seven Strong Men Rock Formations are a set of 7 gigantic abnormally shaped stone pillars located west of the Ural mountains in Russia.
The Three Sisters are a rock formation in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. They are close to the town of Katoomba and are one of the Blue Mountains’ best-known sites, towering above the Jamison Valley. Their names are Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a 243-square mile park is full of stunning karst pillars of sandstone, covered with sub-tropical rainforest. The park is often covered in fog, adding to the mystery but obscuring views.
Morro Rock is a volcanic plug located just offshore from Morro Bay, California, at the entrance to Morro Bay Harbor. A causeway connects it with the shore, effectively making it a tied island.
The Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic limestone promontory located in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula.
The Pinnacles are limestone formations contained within Nambung National Park, near the town of Cervantes, Western Australia. The area receives over 250,000 visitors a year.
Percé Rock is a huge sheer rock formation in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada, off Percé Bay.
The Wave is a sandstone rock formation located on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes near the Arizona-Utah border in the United States of America. It is famous among hikers and photographers for its colorful, undulating forms, and the rugged, trackless hike required to reach it.
Hạ Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular travel destination, located in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes.
Scotts Bluff National Monument in western Nebraska includes an important 19th-century landmark on the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail. The monument is composed of five rock formations named Crown Rock, Dome Rock, Eagle Rock, Saddle Rock, and Sentinel Rock.
The Seven Colored Earths are a geological formation and prominent tourist attraction found in the Chamarel plain of the Rivière Noire District in south-western Mauritius.
The Sphinx is a natural rock formation in the Bucegi Mountains in Romania. It is located at an altitude of 2,216 meters (7,270 ft), a 10-minute walk from the Babele.
Ball’s Pyramid is an erosional remnant of a shield volcano and caldera that formed about 7 million years ago. It lies 20 kilometers (12 mi) southeast of Lord Howe Island in the Pacific Ocean. It is 562 meters (1,844 ft) high, making it the tallest volcanic stack in the world.
Pedra da Gávea is a mountain in Tijuca Forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Composed of granite and gneiss, its elevation is 844 meters (2,769 ft), making it one of the highest mountains in the world that end directly in the ocean.
Looking Glass Rock is a pluton monolith in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. Named for the way its granite face reflects the sunshine, it rises from the valley floor to an elevation of almost 4000 ft.
Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve is on the Coroman Peninsula in New Zealand. The cove contains shapely natural rock stacks, Te Hoho Rock and Sphinx Rock in nearby Mare’s Leg Cove.
The Stone Forest is a notable set of limestone formations located near Shilin approximately 120 km (75 mi) from the provincial capital Kunming, China. The tall rocks seem to emanate from the ground in the manner of stalagmites, with many loing like petrified trees thereby creating the illusion of a forest made of stone.
Perched above the sea in Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island, Australia the impressive Remarkable Rocks form what appears to be a cluster of precariously balanced granite boulders.
The Ennedi Range of Chad is a beautiful part of the Sahara Desert in the northeastern section of the country of Chad. Travel to this area is difficult and dangerous due to the country’s poverty, lack of tourist facilities, political unrest, and highway banditry. The Ennedi contains hundreds of natural arches, few of which are documented.
Chimney Rock is a prominent geological rock formation in Morrill County in western Nebraska. During the middle 19th century it served as a landmark along the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Mormon Trail, which ran along the north side of the rock.
The Azure Window is a natural arch in the Maltese island of Gozo featuring a table-like rock over the sea. It is situated near two other famous natural landmarks – the Inland Sea, and Dwejra Bay. The stunning geography of the area was created thousands of years ago when two limestone caves collapsed.
UPDATE: During a storm on the 8th of March 2017 the arch collapsed.
The Externsteine is a distinctive rock formation located in the district of Lippe within the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, not far from the city of Detmold at Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation consists of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills.
Kannesteinen is a special stem-shaped stone located on the shore in village Oppedal on the west side of Vaagso in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. The stone is about 3 feet tall and attracts many tourists, especially in summer.
Ben Amera is the world’s third-largest monolith behind mount Augustus and Uluru, both in Australia. It is located in Mauritania, close to the border with Western Sahara.
Mexican Hat is a rock formation on the San Juan River in south-central San Juan County, Utah, United States. The name “Mexican Hat” comes from its sombrero-like shape.
Peña de Bernal is one of the tallest monoliths in the world located in San Sebastián Bernal, a small town in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Many people make a pilgrimage to the highest point hikeable, visiting a little chapel about halfway up.
Trolltunga is a piece of rock “hanging” horizontally out of the mountain about 700 meters above the Ringedalsvatnet in Skjeggedal, Norway. The name translated to English is The Troll’s tongue.
Situated in the Chartreuse mountains la Tour Percée is a unique double arch and at 32 meters the longest span in the Alps. The existence of this arch was only documented in 2005.
Dun Briste is an impressive sea-stack, estimated to be approximately 50 meters in height, and stands 80 meters off Downpatrick Head, in the town of Knockaun, east of Ballycastle, Ireland.
Strombolicchio is a sea stack of volcanic origin 2 km (1.2 mi) to the northeast of the island of Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands of Italy. A lighthouse is located on its summit; it can be reached by a concrete stairway of over 200 steps.
Étretat is a commune in northern France. best known for its cliffs, including three natural arches and the pointed “needle”. Two of the three famous arches are seen from the town, the Porte d’Aval, and the Porte d’Amont. The Manneporte is the third and the biggest one, and cannot be seen from the town.
Courthouse and Jail Rocks are two rock formations located near Bridgeport in the Nebraska Panhandle. The pair of rock formations served as a landmark along the trails for many pioneers traveling west in the 19th century.
The Bass Rock, or simply The Bass, is an island in the outer part of the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland. The rock is currently uninhabited, but historically has been settled by an early Christian hermit, and later was the site of an important castle.
Sibebe is a granite mountain in Swaziland, located 10 km from the capital city Mbabane. It is the second-largest monolith in the world and the largest exposed granite pluton, rising 350m above the valley of the Mbuluzi River.
Sail Rock or Parus Rock is a natural sandstone monolith located on the shore of the Black Sea, in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. It resembles the out of a ship’s sail, hence its name.
Off the coast of Raouché, there is a natural landmark called the Pigeons’ Rock (also known as the Rock of Raouché). Located at Beirut’s westernmost tip, the two huge rock formations, which stand like gigantic sentinels, are a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
Navajo Twin Rocks is a natural rock formation which is located near the town of Bluff in the State of Utah in the United States.
The Old Harry Rocks are three chalk formations, including a stack and a stump, located at Handfast Point, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, southern England.
Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas, is a group of large domed rock formations or bornhardts located about 365 km (227 mi) southwest of Alice Springs, in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia.
Kicker Rock is a landmark destination in the Galapagos Islands. Standing over 140 meters, the two volcanic towers jut out of the ocean off the west coast of San Cristóbal Island.
The Bungle Bungles is the landform that is the major component of the Purnululu National Park in Western Australia. The distinctive beehive-shaped towers are made up of sandstones and conglomerates (rocks composed mainly of pebbles and boulders and cemented together by finer material).
The Old Man of Hoy is a red sandstone stack, perched on a plinth of basalt rock. It stands close to Rackwick Bay on the west coast of the island of Hoy, in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, and is a distinctive landmark seen from the Thurso to Stromness ferry. From certain angles, it is said to resemble a human figure.
Haystack Rock is a 235-foot (72-meter) sea stack in Cannon Beach, Oregon. It is sometimes claimed locally to be the third-tallest such “intertidal” (meaning it can be reached by land) structure in the world, but there are no scientific references to support this.
Madhugiri is a single hill and the second largest monolith in Asia. A fort once credited to Hyder Ali is nestled on its steep slopes. A series of doorways lead to the hill. The ruined temple of Gopalakrishna is located at the top.
Elephant Rock is a natural sandstone arch that resembles an elephant with a long trunk and stands on the east side of the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.
The Great White Throne is a white Navajo sandstone mountain situated in Zion National Park in southwestern Utah. The north face rises 2,350 feet (720 m) in 1,500 feet (460 m) from the floor of Zion Canyon near Angels Landing. It is often used as a symbol of Zion National Park.
Camel Rock is a locally famous and distinctive rock formation and landmark, located in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States. The nearby Camel Rock Casino is named after this rock.
Beacon Rock is a monolith on the north bank of the Columbia River. It was named by Lewis and Clark in 1805; they originally referred to it as Beaten Rock, later as Beacon Rock.
Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth in Dorset, England. It is privately owned by the Welds, a family who owns 12,000 acres (50 km2) in Dorset in the name of the Lulworth Estate. It is open to the public.
The Organ Pipes National Park is located in Victoria, Australia. Within Organ Pipes National Park, the valley walls of Jackson’s Creek expose Pleistocene volcanic rocks of the New Volcanic Group. These 2.5 to 2.8 million-year-old basalt lavas, commonly known as “trap rock,” fractured during cooling into vertically standing, hexagonal basalt columns.
El Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) is located 13 kilometers (8 mi) west of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile in the Cordillera de la Sal, in the Atacama desert of Chile. It has various stone and sand formations which have been carved by wind and water.
Huayna Picchu is a mountain in Peru around which the Urubamba River bends. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District. It rises over Machu Picchu, the so-called lost city of the Incas, and divides it into sections.
El Torcal de Antequera is a nature reserve in the Sierra Torcal mountain range located south of the city of Antequera, in the province of Málaga, Spain. It is known for its unusual landforms and is one of the most impressive karst landscapes in Europe.
As with anything of this scale, there is no such thing as a complete list. I purposely stopped at 101 simply because the images would take too long to load if I added any more (plus it sounded like a cool number)……. I still have a lot more on my list though. Oh, and for those who have asked why Stonehenge is missing from this list, it's not a natural rock formation. I may even put together a list for those at some point!