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A monolith is a geological feature such as a mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

, consisting of a single massive stone
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

 or rock, or a single piece of rock placed as, or within, a monument. Erosion
Erosion is when materials are removed from the surface and changed into something else. It only works by hydraulic actions and transport of solids in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere...

 usually exposes the geological formations, which are most often made of very hard and solid metamorphic
Metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock is the transformation of an existing rock type, the protolith, in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form". The protolith is subjected to heat and pressure causing profound physical and/or chemical change...

 or igneous rock
Igneous rock
Igneous rock is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic rock. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava...


The word derives from the Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word monolithus from the Greek word μονόλιθος (monolithos), derived from μόνος ("one" or "single") and λίθος ("stone").


  • Lalibela
    Lalibela is a town in northern Ethiopia, known for its monolithic churches. Lalibela is one of Ethiopia's holiest cities, second only to Aksum, and is a center of pilgrimage for much of the country. Unlike Aksum, the population of Lalibela is almost completely Ethiopian Orthodox Christian...

    , Ethiopia
  • Ben Amera
    Ben Amera
    Ben Amera is the world's third largest monolith. It is located in Mauritania, close to the border with Western Sahara. There are some other monoliths nearby.-References:*...

    , Mauritania
  • Brandberg Mountain
    Brandberg Mountain
    The Brandberg , is Namibia's highest mountain.-Location and Extent:Brandberg Mountain is located in Damaraland, in the northwestern Namib Desert, near the coast, and covers an area of approximately 650 km²...

    , Namibia
  • Aso Rock
    Aso Rock
    Aso Rock is a large outcrop that is on the outskirts of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. The Aso Rock is a 400 metre monolith and is the city's most noticeable feature. The Nigerian Presidential Complex, Nigerian National Assembly, and Nigerian Supreme Court are located around it. Much of the town...

    , Nigeria
  • Zuma Rock
    Zuma Rock
    Zuma Rock is a large monolith located in Niger State, Nigeria. It is just north of Nigeria's capital Abuja, along the main road from Abuja to Kaduna, and is sometimes referred to as "Gateway to Abuja." It is depicted on the 100 naira bill. Zuma Rock is 725 meters above its surroundings.- External...

    , Nigeria
  • Oruku
    Oruku is a community in Enugu State, Nigeria.- Language :The de facto language is the language of the Ibo tribe.-References:...

    , near Ososo
    Ososo is a scenic town of streams and rocks in the undulating Somorika hills.The town is located in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, in the north of Edo State, Nigeria. With an average altitude of 1236 feet above sea level, it enjoys a very temperate climate similar to that of Jos, Plateau State...


  • Savandurga
    Savandurga is a hill 33 km west of Bangalore off the Magadi road , in India. The hill is famous for a temple and is also awarded to be first among the largest monolith hills in the world. The hill rises to 1226 m above mean sea level and forms a part of the Deccan plateau. It consists of...

    , India
  • Bellary
    Bellary is a historic city in Bellary District in Karnataka state, India.-Origins of the city's name:There are several legends about how Bellary got its name....

    , India
  • Madhugiri
    Madhugiri is a Taluk Head Quarter in Tumkur district in the Indian state of Karnataka.At 3930 feet elevation, Madhugiri is a single hill. It is the largest in Asia and second largest in the world. Nestled in its steep slopes is a fort, once credited to Hyder Ali. Antaralada Bagilu, Diddibagilu, and...

     Betta, India

  • Sangla Hill
    Sangla Hill
    Sangla Hill is a tehsil located in Nankana Sahib District in the Punjab Province of Pakistan.- Introduction :Sangla hill is a tehsil under district Nankana Sahib...

    , Pakistan
  • Eagle Mount, Iran


  • Uluru (Ayers Rock)
    Uluru , also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs; by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park....

    , Northern Territory, Australia
  • Pine Mountain, Victoria
    Pine Mountain, Victoria
    Pine Mountain is a gigantic monolith, said to be 1.5 times bigger than Uluru, situated in the Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park in Australia.-Location:...

    , Australia
  • Bald Rock, near Tenterfield, New South Wales
  • Mount Coolum, Queensland
  • Mount Wudinna, near Wudinna, South Australia
  • Kokerbin Rock, Western Australia
  • Mount Chudalup, D'Entrecasteaux National Park, near Northcliffe
    Northcliffe, Western Australia
    Northcliffe is a town located in the lower South West region of Western Australia, about south of the town of Pemberton. At the 2006 census, Northcliffe had a population of 412....

    , Western Australia


  • Kalamos, Anafi
    Anafi is a Greek island community in the Cyclades. In 2001, it had a population of 273 inhabitants. Its land area is 40.370 km². It lies east of the island of Thíra...

    , Greece
  • Frau Holle Stone, near Fulda, Germany
  • Humber Stone, Humberstone, near Leicester, England
  • King Arthur's Stone, Cornwall
    Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

    , England
  • Logan Rock
    Logan Rock
    The Logan Rock near the village of Treen in Cornwall, England, UK, is an example of a logan or rocking stone. Although it weighs some 80 tons, it was dislodged in 1824 by a group of British seamen, intent on showing what the Navy could do...

    , Trereen, Cornwall, England
  • Odin Stone (Stenhouse, Orkney; destroyed in 1814)
  • Peñon de Ifach
    Natural Park of Peñón de Ifach
    Natural Park of Penyal d'Ifac is a natural park situated in Calp, in the autonomous community of Valencia, Spain.The Penyal d'Ifac is a massive limestone outcrop emerging from the sea and linked to the shore by rock debris...

     Calpe, Spain
  • Rock of Gibraltar
    Rock of Gibraltar
    The Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic limestone promontory located in Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is high...

    , Gibraltar
  • Rock of Monaco
    Rock of Monaco
    The Rock of Monaco is a 141 meter tall monolith on the Mediterranean coast of the Principality of Monaco.-History:The Rock has been a coveted possession from the beginning of the ancient Massilian colony of Monoïkos , named for the Ligurian tribes who occupied the area and vied for control of it;...

    , Monaco-Ville
    Monaco-Ville is one of Monaco's administrative divisions located on a rocky headland that extends into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the four traditional quarters of Monaco, the others being La Condamine, Monte Carlo, and Fontvieille. However, in modern administrative terms it is one of ten...

    , Monaco
    Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

United States

  • Beacon Rock, Columbia River Gorge
    Columbia River Gorge
    The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Up to deep, the canyon stretches for over as the river winds westward through the Cascade Range forming the boundary between the State of Washington to the north and Oregon to the south...

    , Washington
  • Bottleneck Peak and Moon
    Bottleneck Peak and Moon
    Bottleneck Peak is a natural monolith located on the eastern side of Sids Mountain in the Utah San Rafael Swell wilderness area....

    , Sids Mountain, Utah
  • Chimney Rock
    Chimney Rock National Historic Site
    Chimney Rock is a prominent geological rock formation in Morrill County in western Nebraska. Rising nearly 300 feet above the surrounding North Platte River valley, the peak of Chimney Rock is above sea level. During the middle 19th century it served as a landmark along the Oregon Trail, the...

    , Bayard, Nebraska
  • Courthouse and Jail Rocks
    Courthouse and Jail Rocks
    Courthouse and Jail Rocks are two rock formations located near Bridgeport, Nebraska.The Oregon-California Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Pony Express Trail and the Sidney-Deadwood Trail all ran near the rocks. The pair of rock formations served as a landmark along the trails for many pioneers...

    , Bridgeport, Nebraska
  • Devils Tower National Monument
    Devils Tower National Monument
    Devils Tower is an igneous intrusion or laccolith located in the Black Hills near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming, above the Belle Fourche River...

    , Wyoming
  • El Capitan
    El Capitan
    El Capitan is a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, near its western end. The granite monolith extends about from base to summit along its tallest face, and is one of the world's favorite challenges for rock climbers.The formation was...

    , Yosemite National Park, California
  • Enchanted Rock
    Enchanted Rock
    Enchanted Rock is an enormous pink granite pluton rock formation located in the Llano Uplift approximately north of Fredericksburg, Texas, USA and south of Llano, Texas. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, which includes Enchanted Rock and surrounding land, spans the border between Gillespie...

    , Llano County, Texas
  • Half Dome
    Half Dome
    Half Dome is a granite dome in Yosemite National Park, located in northeastern Mariposa County, California, at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley — possibly Yosemite's most familiar rock formation. The granite crest rises more than above the valley floor....

    , Yosemite National Park, California
  • Haystack Rock
    Haystack Rock
    Haystack Rock is a 235-foot sea stack in Cannon Beach, Oregon. It is sometimes claimed locally to be the third-tallest such "intertidal" structure in the world, but there are no scientific references to support this. A popular tourist destination, the monolithic rock is adjacent to the beach and...

    , Clatsop County, Oregon
  • Looking Glass Rock
    Looking Glass Rock
    Looking Glass Rock is a pluton monolith in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. The mountain is located within Pisgah National Forest about 5.5 miles northwest of Brevard and 25 miles southwest of Asheville...

    , Transylvania County, North Carolina
  • Scotts Bluff National Monument
    Scotts Bluff National Monument
    Scotts Bluff National Monument in western Nebraska includes an important 19th century landmark on the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail. The National Monument contains multiple bluffs located on the south side of the North Platte River; it is named for one prominent bluff called Scotts Bluff, which...

    , Gering, Nebraska
  • Stone Mountain
    Stone Mountain
    Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock in Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet amsl and 825 feet above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground at its longest point into Gwinnett County...

    , Stone Mountain, Georgia
  • Castle Rock
    Pineville, West Virginia
    Pineville is a town in Wyoming County, West Virginia, along the Guyandotte River. The population was 715 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Wyoming County.-History:Pineville was settled by William Short in 1853....

    , Pineville, West Virginia


  • Stawamus Chief
    Stawamus Chief
    The Stawamus Chief is a granite dome located adjacent to the town of Squamish, British Columbia. It towers over above the waters of nearby Howe Sound...

    , Squamish, British Columbia
  • Satsalla Peak, British Columbia


  • La Peña de Bernal
    La Peña de Bernal
    Peña de Bernal At 350 meters it is the third-tallest monolith in the world, after the Rock of Gibraltar and Sugarloaf Mountain. Peña de Bernal (in English: Bernal's Boulder or Bernal Peak) At 350 meters (1150 ft) it is the third-tallest monolith in the world, after the Rock of Gibraltar...

    , Queretaro
    Querétaro officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Querétaro de Arteaga is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 18 municipalities and its capital city is Santiago de Querétaro....

    . Claims to be the world's third largest monolith.
  • Bernal de Horcasitas, Tamaulipas
    Tamaulipas officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Tamaulipas is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 43 municipalities and its capital city is Ciudad Victoria. The capital city was named after Guadalupe Victoria, the...


South America

  • Pedra da Gávea
    Pedra da Gávea
    Pedra da Gávea , is an impressive monolith rising 842 meters above sea level at the highest point, located in Floresta da Tijuca in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. It is the world's largest monolith on a coastline...

    , Brazil the world's largest monolith on the coastline
  • Pão de Açúcar, Brazil
  • Torres del Paine, Chile
  • El Penol, Colombia

Monumental monoliths

A structure which has been excavated as a unit from a surrounding matrix or outcropping of rock.
  • Stone of the Pregnant Woman
    Stone of the Pregnant Woman
    The Stone of the Pregnant Woman or Stone of the South is a Roman monolith in Baalbek , Lebanon. Together with another ancient stone block nearby, it is among the very largest monoliths ever quarried by men...

    , Baalbek
  • Aztec calendar stone "Stone of the Sun"
  • Coyolxauhqui Stone
    Coyolxauhqui Stone
    The Coyolxauhqui Stone is a carved, circular Aztec stone, depicting the mythical being Coyolxauhqui dismembered and decapitated. It was rediscovered in 1978 at the site of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan, now in Mexico City.-References:...

     another aztec monolith
  • Great Sphinx of Giza
    Great Sphinx of Giza
    The Great Sphinx of Giza , commonly referred to as the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt....

     "The Egyptian Sphinx"
  • Stonehenge
    Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about west of Amesbury and north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks...

     contains several
  • Ellora Caves
    Ellora Caves
    Ellora is an archaeological site, from the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty . Well-known for its monumental caves, Ellora is a World Heritage Site. Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 "caves" – actually...

     - UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Gomateswara or Lord Bahubali
    According to Jainism, Bahubali, called Gomateshwara , was the second of the hundred sons of the first Tirthankara, Rishabha, and king of Podanpur. The Adipurana, a 10th century Kannada text by Jain poet Adikavi Pampa According to Jainism, Bahubali, called Gomateshwara , was the second of the...

     at Sravanabelagola, Karnataka
  • Runestones
  • Stone circle
    Stone circle
    A stone circle is a monument of standing stones arranged in a circle. Such monuments have been constructed across the world throughout history for many different reasons....

  • Standing stones
  • Stelae
  • Obelisk
    An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top, and is said to resemble a petrified ray of the sun-disk. A pair of obelisks usually stood in front of a pylon...

    s - see this article for a list
  • Ogham Stone, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
  • Adam and Eve Stones, Avebury, Wiltshire, England
  • Manzanar National Historic Landmark, USA
  • Vijayanagara Empire#Architecture medieval South Indian carved examples
  • The Church of Saint George is a famous monolithic church in Lalibela, Ethiopia

Extraterrestrial Monoliths

  • Phobos Monolith
    Phobos monolith
    The Phobos monolith is a surface feature on the moon Phobos, which orbits Mars. A monolith is a geological feature consisting of a single massive piece of rock. Monoliths also occur naturally on Earth, but it has been suggested that the Phobos monolith may be a piece of impact ejecta...

See also

  • Butte
    A butte is a conspicuous isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top; it is smaller than mesas, plateaus, and table landform tables. In some regions, such as the north central and northwestern United States, the word is used for any hill...

  • Megalith
    A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. Megalithic describes structures made of such large stones, utilizing an interlocking system without the use of mortar or cement.The word 'megalith' comes from the Ancient...

  • Monadnock
    A monadnock or inselberg is an isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain...

     (or inselberg)
  • Monolithic architecture
    Monolithic architecture
    Monolithic architecture is a style of construction in which a building is carved, cast or excavated from a single piece of material. The most basic form of monolithic architecture is the monolith, such as the monolithic churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia or the Pancha Rathas in India.Buildings with a...

  • Phobos monolith
    Phobos monolith
    The Phobos monolith is a surface feature on the moon Phobos, which orbits Mars. A monolith is a geological feature consisting of a single massive piece of rock. Monoliths also occur naturally on Earth, but it has been suggested that the Phobos monolith may be a piece of impact ejecta...

  • The Monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey

External links