Sail Rock, also known as Parus Rock, is a natural sandstone monolith located on the shore of the Black Sea, in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, about 17 km from the resort city of Gelendzhik. The rock is absolutely flat and narrow, like the sail of a ship, and hence its name. It is about 30 meters tall and 20 meters long but only a meter thick. Contributing to its image lies the fact that this rock is perpendicular to the coastline. From far away, it looks like a boat with a massive sail has come ashore.
Near the base of the monolith is a peculiar hole of unknown origin. Some believe that the rock was used as defence during the Caucasian War and the hole was created to shoot through at the enemy. However, this is doubtful because although Sail Rock is thin, it is still not easy to puncture. This observation is supported by an incident described by the Russian writer, essayist and journalist S.Vasyukov, where he saw a Russian battleship shoot 4 projectiles at the monolith. “Although the traces of the cannonballs were visible, but the cliff was nowhere to be destroyed,” he wrote.
Why a battleship shot at such a spectacular natural wonder is something one will wonder. Thankfully, Sail Rock was declared a natural monument in 1971 and is now protected, at least, from man’s harm, for the sea continues to erode the stack away. Aerial photographs of Sail Rock show submerged rock extending as much as 90 meters away from the monolith indicating the "sail" was much longer at earlier times.
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