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Yehliu Geopark: The Place With The Most Bizarre Rock Formations

Yehliu Geopark: The Place With The Most Bizarre Rock Formations

While we would commonly think of them as kitchen essentials, mushroom and ginger are also names of few rocks in this world. These bizarre looking rock formations are found in the Taiwanese coastal town of Yehliu, which are amazing and strange, spectacular and odd, at the same time. Have a look!
Rujuta Patil
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2018
Did You Know?
Formed around 23 to 5 million years ago, the rock formations in Yehliu are unique as they are found only in Yehliu and nowhere else in the world.
The magnificent rock landscape of Yehliu Geopark in Wanli forms part of New Taipei City, or the most populous area in Taiwan. The name 'Yehliu' is believed to have come from different sources. Firstly, it is a translation from the Pinpu language. Secondly, the coastal population had to fetch rice from the inner lands. So, during this rice transportation, some locals in Yehliu would make a hole into the rice sack with a bamboo stick. This was why the rice traders used to say, "the rice was stolen by the savages".

Liu and Yeh mean 'to steal' and 'savage' in Taiwanese respectively. And thirdly, an abbreviation of the Spanish words "Punto Diablos", meaning 'devil's cape' is also one of the roots behind the name.
Yehliu Geopark in Taiwan
The rock landscape in Yehliu Geopark is a 1700 meter long area from the entrance of the park to the end of the cape. Also called the hoodoo rocks (where hard and resilient rocks sit atop softer and eroded rocks), this place has many such unusual and bizarre rock formations. Rocks on this promontory have been given different names, according to their shapes and also their resemblance to certain objects. The topography of the entire strip of land, which features cleavages, sandy earth, potholes, and melting erosion panel is unmistakable.
Ginger Rock Yehliu Geopark Yehliu Taiwan
Ginger Rocks
Mushroom Rocks
Mushroom Rocks
Mushroom Rocks And Ginger Rocks
At the entrance of the park, the ginger and mushroom rocks leave us amazed. As a curious visitor, you can learn about how these interesting forms were created. The particular hole-like structure seen on the mushroom rocks exemplifies the process of honeycomb weathering (salt content altering sandstones, limestones, or granite). The ginger rocks have a somewhat gird-like structure that is more pronounced than the honeycomb feature.
Candle Shaped Rocks
Candle Shaped Rocks
Candle Rocks
Candle Rocks
Sea Candles
Although the most appealing, the sea candles are quite a bizarre formation. Erosional processes have beautifully carved out the inner and outer faces of the rocks. The resistance of the harder rocks intermingled with the softer ones has built layers that appear like a candlewick.
The Queen Head
Queen's Head
Don't be surprised by the name! It's one of the most bizarre rock formations in this Taiwanese cape & the landmark of the town. Just a 'natural' coincidence! The Queen's Head is basically a mushroom rock. It has a broader (more resilient) rock at the top, the shape of which looks like the head of the Queen seen from one side. The base is broad again, but the center of the rock is eroded, resembling the neck portion. Sea waves have left a protruding part that perfectly resembles the Queen's nose.
Other Rocks
The Fairy's Shoe is another such marvel. Water and other natural elements have crafted out an amazing shoe-like shape out of a rock. The curves and the arch are so stark that no one can miss it. Potholes spread around the entire coast have little marine creatures inside them. The Tofu rocks also add to the beauty of the long cape as they merge into the sea.
Geology- How the Rocks Formed
Rock formations in the Yehliu Geopark are from the Miocene Period (around 23 to 5 million years ago), when the Datun Mountain was pushed and moved out of the sea, due to tectonic forces. The Tatun group of volcanoes of northern Taiwan are primarily responsible for this erosional feature.

A combination of mudstone and sandstone interbedded into one rock, while the sun, sea waves, winds, rains from the seasonal monsoon, and typhoons have all contributed to these characteristic wave-cut erosional rock formations. For instance, amongst the sea candles, the more resilient rock withstood the force of sea waves forming an inner core within the rock. This center of the sea candle is a section rich in calcium carbonate. There are some exposed fossils present on the site too.
Whenever you visit this town of eccentric rock formations, do check for the weather report once, because it is quite sunny, rainy and windy, all at the same time, on this humid headland that dives into the Pacific Ocean. The beauty of this geology is worth all the effort though, always!