Famous Rocks - International
In addition to the numerous famous rocks in the United States (which are identified in the various state sections of this website), there are a variety of famous rocks outside the United States.
Zircon Crystal in Jack Hills Rock
The oldest terrestrial origin material on earth that has been dated is a small zircon crystal that is approximately two human hairs in width. Based on radiometric dating, the crystal is estimated to be 4.404 billion years old (plus or minus 8 million years). The crystal was obtained from a gneiss sample collected in Western Australia’s Jack Hills.
- Ayers Rock
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Northern Territory, Australia
Ayers Rock/ Uluru, the world's largest monolith and an Aboriginal sacred site, is Australia's most famous natural landmark. It is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a national park in the Northern Territory, Australia, in the arid center of the continent, southwest of Alice Springs. The area was established as Ayers Rock/Mount Olga National Park in 1958 and renamed Uluru National Park in 1977. In 1985 the land was officially returned to its traditional owners, the region's Aborigines. The Aborigines then leased the area to the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service. In 1987 the park was placed on the World Heritage List, a listing by the World Heritage Convention of the world's unique and precious sites. The park was renamed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in 1993.
Brazil – Sugarloaf Mountain
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sugarloaf Mountain is the 1,299 foot granite peak on the peninsula that extends into the Atlantic Ocean in Rio de Janeiro. Sugarloaf Mountain appeared prominently in the 1979 James Bond movie, Moonraker as well as the animated movie Rio.
England - Rosetta Stone
British Museum - London, England
A stone discovered in Egypt in the late eighteenth century, inscribed with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and a translation of them in Greek. The stone proved to be the key to understanding Egyptian writing.
England - Stonehenge
Salisbury Plain, England
The megalithic ruin known as Stonehenge is located about two miles west of the town of Amesbury, Wiltshire, in Southern England. The structure’s age is estimated at 3100 BC.
England – White Cliffs of Dover
The cliffs are located on the southern coast of England across the English Channel from France. The cliffs are composed primarily of chalk.
Gibraltar - Rock of Gibraltar
Gibraltar - Southern tip of Iberian Peninsula
The Rock of Gibraltar may be the most famous rock in the world. Gibraltar is situated at the southern end of Europe with a land frontier to Spain on its northern front. It rests at the crossroads of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The stretch of water that separates Gibraltar from North Africa is called the Strait of Gibraltar and throughout history has played a strategic part in battles fought and won to control the western Mediterranean seaways. In ancient times Gibraltar was one of the Pillars of Hercules. It was known to the Greeks as Mons Calpe, the other pillar being Mons Abyla on the Moroccan side of the Strait. Gibraltar marked the limit to the known world. To pass beyond it was to sail to certain destruction over the bottomless waterfall at the edge of the world.
- Blarney Stone
Blarney Castle - Ireland
The Blarney Stone is a stone in the wall of Blarney Castle in Ireland. According to an Irish legend, those who kiss the Blarney Stone receive a gift of eloquence that enables them to obtain, through persuasion, anything they want.
Ireland - The Giant’s Causeway
County Antrim, Northern Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway is a mass of tightly connected basalt columns resulting from an ancient volcanic eruption approximately 50 to 60 million years ago. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Altogether there are 40,000 of these stone columns, mostly hexagonal but some with four, five, seven, and eight sides. The tallest are about 40 feet high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 90 feet thick in places. It is located on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland.
Israel - Dome of the Rock – Foundation Stone
Temple Mount – Jerusalem, Israel
The Dome of the Rock is a religious shrine located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel. The site covers the ‘Foundation Stone.’ According to some Islamic scholars, the Foundation Stone is the site where Muhammad ascended to Heaven along with the angel Gabriel. The Foundation Stone and its surroundings also is the holiest site in Judaism. According to Jewish tradition, the Foundation Stone is the site where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Italy- Faraglioni Rocks
Island of Capri, Italy
Faraglioni is the collective name for three sea stacks located off the southern coast of Capri in the Bay of Naples.
Mexico - Cave of the Swords & Giant Crystal Cave
Naica Mountains, Chihuahua, Mexico
The Cave of the Swords was discovered in 1910 by employees of the Naica Mining Company who were working in the Naica Mountains (50 miles southeast of Chihuahua City in the state of Chihuahua) for lead and zinc as well as copper, silver, and gold. The cave, located over 300 feet below the surface, contains giant selenite (gypsum) crystals, many of which resembled swords, hence the name Cave of the Swords.
The Giant Crystal Cave, discovered in 2000, is located below the Cave of the Swords, approximately 900 feet below the surface (and very hot), and also contains giant selenite (gypsum) crystals.
Namibia - Hoba Meteorite
Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia
The Hoba Meteorite is the largest known meteorite on Earth. It weighs approximately 60 tons (120,000 pounds).
Russia – St. Isaac’s Cathedral
St. Petersburg, Russia
The Cathedral, which took forty years to build, was completed in 1858 and includes enormous malachite and lapis columns. The six malachite columns are fifty feet tall and the two lapis lazuli columns are thirty feet tall.
Arabia - Black Stone of the Kaaba
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
The Black Stone of the Kaaba, (aka Kaaba Stone) is emplaced in the northeast corner of the Kaaba, which is the cubic structure in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia towards which Muslim pray. The stone is mounted in an oval silver frame and is revered by Muslims.
Stone of Scone
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
The Stone of Scone a block of red sandstone upon which the kings of Scotland were crowned, and the Scots know it as the Stone of Destiny. The English took it in 1296 when they conquered Scotland and had the stone built into the royal coronation chair to keep the tradition alive. The English referred to as the Coronation Stone. In 1950, a group of Scottish students took the stone from Westminster Abbey to return it Scotland. In the process of removing the stone, they broke it in two. In 1996, the British Government agreed to locate the stone in Scotland when the stone is not in use for coronations.
Turkey - Pamukkale Falls
The falls are made of travertine, which forms from minerals in the hot water.