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Darwin's Arch loses its top in Galapagos

Natural erosion is being blamed for the top of Darwin's Arch to collapse.
Credit: AP
This photo distributed by Galapagos National Park shows Darwin's Arch off the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Sunday, May 16, 2021, before its top fell off. Ecuador’s Environment Ministry reported the collapse of the top of the arch on its Facebook page on Monday, May 17, and blame natural erosion of the stone. (Galapagos National Park via AP)

QUITO, Ecuador — The famed Darwin's Arch in the Galapagos Islands has lost its top, and officials are blaming natural erosion of the stone. Ecuador's Environment Ministry reported the collapse on its Facebook page on Monday.

The rock structure — 141 feet high, 230 feet long and 75 feet wide — is about half a mile from Darwin Island and it's a popular spot for scuba divers. It's not accessible by land.

Informamos que colapsó el emblemático Arco de Darwin Hoy 17 de mayo de 2021, se reportó el colapso del Arco de...

Posted by Ministerio del Ambiente y Agua de Ecuador on Monday, May 17, 2021

“Obviously all the people from the Galapagos felt nostalgic because it’s something we’re familiar with since childhood, and to know that it has changed was a bit of a shock," said Washington Tapia, director of conservation at Galapagos Conservancy. "However, from a scientific point of view, it’s part of the natural process. The fall is surely due to exogenous processes such as weathering and erosion which are things that normally happen on our planet.”

The unique flora and fauna on remote islands, some 600 miles off the coast of mainland Ecuador are famed in part for inspiring Charles Darwin's thoughts on evolution.