The Twelve Apostles is a collection of dramatic limestone stacks that rises up to 45 meters, 7 km off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, in Victoria, Australia. Located by the side of the iconic Great Ocean Road, it is one of the most well-known highlights of the scenic route that starts approximately 60 miles (97km) southwest of Melbourne and winds 150 miles along the picturesque coastline.
The site was originally known as the Sow and Piglets until 1922 - Muttonbird Island, near Loch Ard Gorge, was the Sow, and the smaller rock stacks were the Piglets, after which it was renamed to The Apostles for tourism purposes. The formation eventually became known as the Twelve Apostles, despite only ever having nine stacks. One of them fell in 2005, leaving behind only eight.
The Twelve Apostles were formed by erosion of the original coastline, which began 10 to 20 million years ago. Relentless action of the sea on the limestone slowly wore down the rocky cliff, gradually leaving these pillars. The cliff is still being eroded at a rate of about 2cm each year, and in the future is likely to form more ‘Apostles’ from the other rocky headlands that line the Victorian coastline.
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