To describe rock structures, geologists created several terms for naturally formed rock formations. Sea stacks are columns of rock in the sea shaped by time and tide and inselbergs
are rocky outcrops rising out of a plain. A tor on the other hand is a
rock formation formed by weathering, usually found on or near the top of
The Stiperstones is a group of rock formations in the
county of Shropshire, England. Situated about 530 meters above sea
level, Stiperstones is a quartzite ridge formed some 480 million years
ago. Some of the principal Tors of quartzite include: Shepherd’s Rock,
Devil’s Chair, Manstone Rock, Cranberry Rock, Nipstone Rock, and The
Rock. The Manstone Rock is the highest and the Devil’s Chair is the
largest and best known. The Stiperstones is a National Nature Reserve,
and the area surrounding it is rich in myths and legends.
Not all Tors are made of the same material. The Higger Tor in the
Burbage Valley, in the Peak District of England is made of gritstone, a
sedimentary rock made up of coarse, usually angular sand grains. Higger
Tor is located 1400 feet above sea level and is the most prominent of
all the crags on Hathersage Moor in the county of South Yorkshire
overlooking the hill fort of Carl Wark to the southeast.
Dartmoore is a 954 square kilometers (368 sq mi) moorland in the
heart of Devon, England. More than 170 tors made up of granite can be
found in the site which provides habitat for Dartmoor wildlife. The
entire site which is protected by National Park status is rich in
antiquities and archeology. The highest point on Dartmoore is the 621 m
(2,040 ft) high High Willhays, and the best known tor is probably the
457 m (1,500 ft) exquisitely formed Haytor or Hey Tor.
Elephants Rocks are giant granite rocks standing end-to-end looking
like a train of pink circus elephants, thus the name. The rounded
boulders were formed about 1.5 million years ago when molten magma
cooled and formed coarsely crystalline red granite, which later
weathered. One of the largest rocks named Dumbo weights a massive 680
tons. Elephants Rocks is found in the US state of Missouri.
Kit-Mikayi is a 70 meter high rock outcrop located in western Kenya.
The giant rock formation site is a place of interest, especially among
the Luo tribes who are living near the tor. It is also a place of
worship for the followers of a local sect who visit the rock to pray and
fast. The name Kit Mikayi (also Kitmikaye) means “Stones of the first
wife” or “First Wife Rocks” in the Dholuo dialect. Legend has it that
Mikayi (meaning: first wife) went up the hill to the giant stones when
her husband took a second wife.