Galapagos' Famous Darwin's Arch Has Tumbled Into The Sea


Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

clockMay 20 2021, 17:39 UTC
The Darwin Arch

The Darwin Arch before the collapse. Image Credit: Johnathan Churchill/

Until a few days ago, off the coast of Darwin Island in the Galapagos stood the iconic natural rock formation, Darwin's Arch. The beautiful structure was shaped by erosion and this was eventually how it was ended, too. On May 17, 2021, the arch broke apart and tumbled into the sea.

“Today May 17, 2021, the collapse of the Darwin's Arch, the attractive natural bridge located less than a kilometer from the main Darwin Island, the northernmost of the #Galapagos Archipelago," the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment and Water wrote in a Facebook post in Spanish (translated). "This event is the result of natural erosion.” 


Darwin Island, like many of the archipelago's 21 main islands, is not open to tourists so the arch, which was once part of the island, could not be seen by land. However, the natural arch could be visited at a distance by boat and the surrounding waters are an exciting destination for scuba divers.


The arch and the island were named after British naturalist and co-author of the theory of evolution, Charles Darwin, whose visit to the Galapagos proved crucial to his scientific work and developing theory during his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle in the early 1830s.

The two remaining pillars have been nicknamed by some of the Pillars of Evolution.


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