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The word “Monolith” derives via the Latin ‘monolithus’, from the Ancient Greek word ‘monolithos’, which means single stone. Who you have enjoyed Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece “2001: A space Odyssey”, can delineate a picture of large Monolith, which is quite analogous to the advanced machined developed by aliens to encourage human being to progress with technology.
What is a monolith? However, in reality, a monolith is a single massive stone or rock, such as some mountains, or a single large piece of rock placed as, or within, a building. Then, What is the largest monolith on earth? Or you can question which one is the biggest rock in the world? Answering is this question is a bit tough, since the word ‘monolith’, itself is ambiguous and hard to be defined. Many rocks and mountains are called monoliths, but these claims are rarely backed up by geological academics’ confirmation.
10 Largest Monoliths in the World:
We are attempting here to provide a list of some of the biggest, most interesting and largest monoliths in the world authenticated by geologists.
10. Pena de Bernal
Peña de Bernal (“Bernal Peak”) is one of the great natural rock formation situated in San Sebastian Bernal, in the state of Queretaro. It rises 1148 feet above the town. It was formed about 65 million years ago during, the Jurassic period. But a recent analysis shows that it could be much younger than it was previously thought.
9. Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is one of the largest monolithic limestone promontories. It is located in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Regarded as the crown property, this 426 meters (1,396 feet) high limestone monolith is the home of 27,800 Gibraltarians and 250 Barbary macaques. Gibraltar was one of the Pillars of Hercules in Greek mythology.
8. El Capitan, Yosemite
El Capitan is a very famous tour destination in Yosemite National Park, is a granite monolith. It rises almost 910 meter (3,000 foot) vertically from Yosemite Valley. Although once thought impossible to climb, Climbing on It is a favourite challenge among expert rock climbers. Warren J. Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore were the first to climb the Nose of El Capitan using ropes in 1958.
Also Read: Top 10 highest mountains in the world
7. Torres del Paine
Situated in the Extreme South region of Patagonian, Torres del Paine is a national park in Chile. It features mountains, beautiful lakes and glaciers. The centrepiece of the park is Cordillera del Paine. The Torres del Paine has three granite peaks. The highest peak is about 2,500 meters. This is considered to be the seventh giant rock of the world.
6. Ben Amera
Ben Amera is situated in Mauritania, close to the border with another amazing desert landscape, Western Sahara. It is probably Mauritania’s best kept secret. There are also some other monoliths near Ben Amers.
5. Devils Tower
Located in the Black Hills in Crook County, Devils Tower is the core of an ancient volcano exposed from erosion. It rises 386 meters (1,267 feet) above the surrounding terrain. And is the first one declared a United States National Monument in 1906. The mountain has become famous when it was chosen as the location of Steven Spielberg’s science fiction masterpiece film ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind‘.
Sigiriya is a 370 meter (1214 foot) high ‘Lion rock’ fortress located in the central Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is one of Sri Lanka’s most attracted tourist site. Until the 14th century it was used as a Buddhist monastery. UNESCO has listed Sigiriya as World Heritage Site.
3. Sugarloaf Mountain
One of the most commonly recognized and major tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro. Sugarloaf Mountain situates on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean.
It rises 1299 feet high from the sea level. Tourists have to take two cable cars to reach the summit of the mountain where they can enjoy the wonderful views of Copacabana and the most beautiful river Rio.
2. Zuma Rock
Zumu Rock is a very unusual natural wonder of a rock in Niger State, Nigeria. It lies north of Nigeria’s capital Abuja and is easily observed by driving the main road from Abuja to Kaduna. Zuma Rock is 725 meters (2378 feet) above its surroundings. A person’s face can be considered in the white part at the centre of the rock according to some observers.
1. Uluru/Ayers Rock
Uluru is the largest single rock above them all. Also known as Ayers Rock, it is one of Australia’s most recognisable natural icons, situated 335 km south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs. The remarkable sandstone formation stands 348 meter high and measures 9.4 km in circumference. Interestingly the rock undergoes dramatic colour changes. Uluru is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.