Famed Darwin's Arch in Galapagos Islands collapses

The arch is famed for the variety of underwater life teeming nearby, including schools of hammerhead sharks.

May 20, 2021 11:33 am | Updated 11:34 am IST

(left)This photo distributed by Galapagos National Park shows Darwin's Arch off the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Sunday, May 16, 2021. Credit: AP.
(right)Handout photo released by the Ecuadorean Ministry of Environment of the Darwin Arch after it collapsed near Darwin Island, Galapagos, Ecuador, on May 17, 2021 Credit: AFP

(left)This photo distributed by Galapagos National Park shows Darwin's Arch off the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Sunday, May 16, 2021. Credit: AP. (right)Handout photo released by the Ecuadorean Ministry of Environment of the Darwin Arch after it collapsed near Darwin Island, Galapagos, Ecuador, on May 17, 2021 Credit: AFP

Darwin's Arch, a famed natural rock formation in the Galapagos Islands that is popular with divers, photographers and cruise-ship tourists, has collapsed from erosion, Ecuadorean environmental officials said on Tuesday.

Photographs posted on social media by Ecuador's Environment Ministry showed rubble from the curvature of the arch visible in the ocean, with the two supporting columns still standing.

"We report that the iconic Arc of Darwin collapsed," the ministry wrote in Spanish on its Facebook page.

The arch, named for British naturalist Charles Darwin, stands at the northernmost tip of the Galapagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean 965 km west of Ecuador.

Once a part of Darwin's Island, the arch is famed for the variety of underwater life teeming nearby, including schools of hammerhead sharks.

Tourists are not allowed to set foot on the arch or island.

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