Lying on the coast of the Black Sea, this sheer cliff is 25 meters tall, yet only a mere meter thick! Contributing to its image lies the fact that this rock is perpendicular to the coastline. The reason behind this, as with many geological features, is erosion. Behind this thin cliff lies another sandstone cliff, but far greater in height, width, and pure quantity of rock. Natural erosion forces of the water slowly removed thousands of cubic meters of rock over millions of years, which reversed the lithification process and turned sandstone into gravel, sand, and clay. Only the strongest sections of rock remained, which today can be seen as the picturesque image of Sail Rock. Lithification produces different densities and strengths of deposited rock, and Sail Rock is composed of the strongest rock that was able to remain.
Effects of the continuous and ongoing erosion can be seen today on the rock. The "lacerations" that appear to cover this cliff from head to toe are long lasting effects of this strong, dense, monolith's enduring of erosion.
The very visible hole in the cliff is of unknown origin, yet it is predicted to be a result of projectile weapons during the Caucasian War. Sail Rock has been a protected Russian National Monument since 1971.
Image Credit: The World Geography