Natural Rock Formation Looks Like an Elephant Drinking from the Ocean

Sometimes, the natural landscape can bear an uncanny resemblance to creatures in the wild–one of these curious places is off the coast of Iceland. On the island of Heimaey, there is a rock formation that, from certain angles, looks like a massive elephant taking a drink out of the Atlantic Ocean.

Two key elements contribute to this playful illusion. Firstly, the “wrinkles” in the cliff mimic an elephant's leathery skin–this particular texture was formed by basalt rock, a type of material that results from the rapid cooling of thick lava. Coupled with indentations that look like an eye and a giant, floppy ear, it's almost as if this is an elephant that's hiding in plain sight.

Many visitors to Heimaey have noticed the striking comparison. Check out some of their documentation below, and even more over on Flickr.

On the island of Heimaey, there's a natural rock formation that looks just like an elephant.

Heimaey elephant rock

The large elephant is only visible from certain angles, but it's undeniable.

Elephant Rock. Heimaey, Iceland

The large “land animal” looks like its drinking from the ocean with its long trunk.

Iceland 50

Mother Nature has beautiful, mysterious ways of leaving us all in awe every day!

86: Elephant Rock off the coast of Heimaey in the Westman Islands

h/t: [Colossal]

This article has been edited and updated.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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