For many lovers of submarine life, it was one of the best diving spots on the planet, while it was also one of the most iconic images of the Galapagos Islands in the South American country of Ecuador.
Darwin’s Arch, an attractive natural stone bridge which was erected less than a kilometer from Darwin Island, located in the northernmost part of the archipelago (group of islands), has collapsed as “a consequence of natural erosion,” according to the Ministry of Environment for Ecuador.
Images of the structure, which now consists of just two pillars, were posted on the social media accounts for the ministry alongside a statement confirming the news.
“The collapse of Darwin’s Arch, the attractive natural bridge found less than a kilometer from the main area of Darwin Island, was reported. Darwin’s Arch is made of natural stone that at one time would have been part of Darwin Island, which is not open to visits by land,” the ministry said in the statement.
Named after English biologist Charles Darwin, the UNESCO World Heritage site in the Pacific Ocean is located hundreds of miles off the country’s coast. Made up of 234 islands, rocks and inlets, four of which are home to some 30,000 people, the archipelago attracts tourists from all over the world who flock to appreciate its unique biodiversity, which served as the inspiration for Darwin’s theory of evolution.
In the case of Darwin’s Arch, in addition to the natural beauty of its landscape, it had the additional attraction of its rich underwater life, which make it a special place for shark watching and other species.