Travel photos from Elephant Rock
Iceland’s Elephant Rock is an incredible rock formation found in the remote Westman Islands or Vestmannaeyjar. It is not one of those things that you need to ‘look just hard enough’ to see it but one of those sights that will have you completely astounded in a split of a second. In front of you is a petrified elephant and there is no denying it!
How did the Elephant Rock Form?
To believe that the enormous rock was formed naturally is quite difficult, especially once you have been face to face with the giant elephant. But nevertheless, there are no records of an elephant ever stepping foot in Iceland so we best believe it.
The Westman Islands were formed in a series of volcanic eruptions occurring under sea level. This is quite common in Iceland and its surrounding areas as the island is located right at the split between two continental plates. Subsequently, there is rather a lot of earthquakes and eruptions happening and for the locals, this is just daily life.
The biggest of the Westman Islands is called Heimaey, the only inhabited island of the cluster. Right at the center of Heimaey is a volcano. The volcano is called Eldfell and is quite active, often causing the locals troubles.
The last significant eruption occurred in 1973 when Eldfell went off, almost without warning, causing lava to flow over larger parts of Heimaey island. The islands had to be evacuated and the home island was left deserted until the eruption has stopped. This is one of the most memorable events in the late 19th century and was life-altering for many of the Islanders.
Many believe that the Elephant Rock was formed in this very eruption which enlarged the island by substantially.
If the elephant did in fact form in the eruption in 1973 that would make it relatively young but even so it has become somewhat of a token for the Westman Islands community. This basalt rock giant that hides its trunk in the cold Atlantic Sea is something you are not going to want to miss!
Fun Facts about Elephant Rock Iceland
- There is no known record of an elephant ever stepping foot in Iceland, maybe they just stayed in the sea?
- The Elephant Rock was most likely formed in 1973 in a big eruption on Heimaey Island.
- There is a picture that went viral on the internet a while ago. The real Icelandic Elephant Rock, is the close-up elephant face, but the aerial picture is actually another elephant rock from Asia:
The aerial view is incorrect
Where is Elephant Rock located?
The Westman Islands are an archipelago of about 15 islands off the South Coast of Iceland. Only one of the islands is inhabited, that is the largest of the island cluster, it is called Heimaey. The Elephants Rock stands tall out from Heimaey surrounded by other sea cliffs and smaller islands.