Just one of the many geological creations found in El Torcal de Antequera, a nature reserve in the Sierra del Torcal mountain range near the city of Antequera in Spain’s province of Málaga.
Known for its unusual landforms, it is regarded as one of the most impressive karst landscapes in Europe. The Jurassic age limestone, about 150 million years old and was laid down in a marine corridor between the present Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. The seabeds were raised over 1300 meters during the Tertiary era, resulting in the modest mountain range of flat-lying limestone, which is rare in the province of Andalucia.
Later, a series of fractures, cracks and faults at right angles to each other were exploited by erosion and dissolution by water (karstification) along with freeze-thaw splitting action on the limestone’s horizontal beds, that resulted in the various shapes visible today, many of which resemble, and have been named after, everyday objects such as the Sphinx, the Jug, the Camel and the Screw, the latter aka El Tornillo.
One of those places in the world so mystical, it makes one feel like a time traveller…