One 'Apostle' disappears off Australia

July 5, 2005

The sea has swallowed one of Australia's Twelve Apostles, leaving only eight of the spectacular limestone monoliths to guard the country's southwest coast.

Though named the Twelve Apostles, only nine have always been seen above water along the coast.

The gigantic sea stacks, believed to have taken thousands of years to form, are a major tourist attraction on the coast in the state of Victoria.

They had withstood the constant pounding by waves from the Southern Ocean. But on Sunday, the ninth stack, more than 150 feet all, crumbled and collapsed into the seas, The Australian newspaper reported.

The report said it took only a few seconds to destroy what had taken an eternity to create.

"It won't be the same sort of photo any more," tour guide Sally Ryan said as she stood on the blustery boardwalk near Port Campbell.

(c) 2005 UPI

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