Ecuador’s environmental ministry says the collapse is the result of natural landslides.
Darwin’s Arch, a famous natural rock form in the Galapagos Islands, collapsed at sea as a result of the landslide, Ecuadorean environmental officials said.
Photos posted on social media by Ecuador’s Environment Ministry show rubble from the height of the arch collapsed into the ocean standing two supporting pillars.
“We are reporting that the iconic Arc of Darwin has collapsed,” the Spanish ministry wrote on its Facebook page on Tuesday.
The 43-meter (141-foot) tall rock formation, named for British naturalist Charles Darwin, stands at the topmost tip of the Galapagos Islands and is a popular spot for scuba divers.
Formerly a part of nearby Darwin Island, the arch is famous for a variety of underwater life, including hammer shark schools.
“Obviously all the people from the Galapagos feel disgusted because it’s something we’ve been familiar with since childhood, and to know that it’s changing is a bit shocking,” Washington Tapia said, the director of conservation at the Galapagos Conservancy. However, from a scientific point of view, it is part of the natural process. The fall is definitely due to exogenous processes such as weathering and erosion factors that commonly occur on our planet. “
The Galapagos are a remote volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean 600 miles (965 kilometers) west of Ecuador and home to the unique plants and animals that inspired evolutionist Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
The 234 islands, estuaries and rocks are part of a biosphere reserve and a World Heritage site. Four of them are home to about 30,000 people.