8 Unusual Rock Islands Around the World
Usually, rock islet is a landform composed of rock, lying offshore, uninhabited, and having at most minimal vegetation. But sometimes, rock islets don’t look exactly like this – some are naturally strange looking, and some of them people have adapted to their own needs and made them pretty unusual. Uniqueness makes these small islands very popular among local visitors, foreign tourists and photographers from around the world.
1. New Eddystone Rock, Alaska, USA
The Alaskan island called New Eddystone Rock is a pillar of basalt. The basalt came from fractures in the floor of Behm Canal (natural channel in Alaska). The broken, haphazard texture of these basalts indicates that New Eddystone Rock was part of a volcanic vent where magma rose repeatedly to the surface of the earth.
Capt. George Vancouver named the rock after the Eddystone Lighthouse near Cornwall, England, when he sailed through this area in 1793. This forested pillar is 237 feet (72 m) high.
2. Fastnet Rock, Ireland
Fastnet Rock or simply Fastnet is a small islet in the Atlantic Ocean and the most southerly point of Ireland. Due to its location, Fastnet was known as ‘Ireland’s Teardrop’ because it was the last part of the country that Irish emigrants would see as they sailed to the United States in the 19th century.
Fastnet Rock is a small clay-slate islet with quartz veins. It rises to about 30 metres (98 ft) above low water mark and is separated from the much smaller southern Little Fastnet by a 10 metres (33 ft) wide channel. The Rock’s lighthouse was originally built in 1854, but was swept away in 1865. It was eventually rebuilt in 1906 with granite rocks imported from Cornwall and now also boasts a helipad.
3. Turnip Rock, Michigan, USA
Just off the Michigan shore in Lake Huron is Turnip Rock, a large turnip-shaped rock-island. The unique shape is the result of thousands of years of erosion by storm waves.
Twenty-foot-high (6 m) trees and other vegetation have grown at the top of the isolated rock. The surrounding land is privately owned, so visitors can only view the rock via boat or over the frozen lake in the winter.
4. Dunbar Rock, Honduras
On this small island in Honduras, is located an incredible resort. The villa at Dunbar Rock is one of the Caribbean’s most unique dive resorts; truly one of a kind. It is so well known and unusual that it’s featured in the Government of Honduras tourism advertisements and on its own postcard.
Dunbar Villa operates as a well known dive resort, with excellent diving and fishing right off the dock. The coral reef is 100% private and the island lends itself to the intimacy of a private island. The island has a small oak forest that provides shade from the heat of the day.
5. Stenčica (Little Rock), Serbia
House in the middle of Drina River is situated on Stenčica islet, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia. Precisely, this town lies in the valley of the Drina River at the eastern edge of Tara National Park.
In 1968 local kids have erected the first structure on this islet, like a retreat and without a building permit proper. Not only the natural setting is intriguing but also the fact that it sits on the river which now represents border between two countries (Serbia & Bosnia and Herzegovina), territory not belonging to either jurisdiction, sort of duty free zone. The structure was rebuilt several times since then. Whenever torrential rain and flood take the structure down, one of the original builders, Milija Mandic Gljiva, would build a new one.
6. Mitsukejima, Japan
Mitsukejima is an uninhabited island in Suzu, Ishikawa, Japan. Because of its shape, it is also known as Gunkanjima ( meaning “Battleship Island”), which is also the common name given to Hashima Island in the Nagasaki Prefecture. According to folklore, the island was given the name “Mitsukejima” by the monk, scholar, and artist, Kūkai, who was the first to discover the island while travelling from Sado Island, Niigata.
Mitsukejima is approximately 150 metres (490 ft) long, 50 metres (165 ft) wide, and 30 metres (100 ft) above sea level. It is composed of diatomaceous earth, the raw materials for shichirin, a portable clay cooking stove which is a specialty product of Suzu. Mitsukejima is known as a scenic spot of the Notohantō quasi-national park, and attracts many tourists.
7. Clingstone, Rhode Island, USA
Clingstone House is a remarkable 105 year old mansion on a piece of rock in the Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA. The rock is so small that it can be at the most called a micro islet. The three storey, 23 roomed mansion, with 10 bedrooms, was built in 1905 by J.S. Lovering Wharton in consultation with artist William Trost Richards.
Although the house was designed to withstand hurricane winds, however it was badly damaged by a hurricane in 1938 and remained vacant for about 20 years. In 1961 it was purchased by an architect Henry Wood, a distant cousin of Wharton, who renovated it and now maintains it by using a very imaginative method of inviting about 70 of his friends and relatives each year to stay with him and help him in carrying out the annual repair work including cleaning of 65 windows. The mansion is locally known as “The House on a Rock”.
8. The Rock, Tanzania
On this islet, near the shore of the beautiful Michanwi Pingwe beach (Zanzibar), is located a Rock Restaurant. Depending on the tides it is possible to wade across or if you prefer, the restaurant has a boat to transport you from the beach to the steps at the bottom of the rock and back again.
The owners don’t advertise the restaurant, and they don’t put up signs pointing people to their joint. They just sit there and wait for people to find them. Naturally the restaurant serves a wide variety of sea food.