Hvítserkur, Vestur-Hunavatnssysla, Iceland. By Flickr user jónr.

I hadn’t come across this feature of north-west Iceland before until a view turned up in Flickr’s Explore. The place is a tourist site so there are many more such views.


Ailsa Craig by Flickr user atomicjeep.

Hvítserkur reminded me of Aisla Craig, a volcanic island a few miles from Girvan on the west coast of Scotland. I’ve seen Aisla Craig from the shore and can testify to its imposing presence, and also the way its appearance changes depending on the weather and time of day.


Both these pale into insignificance next to Ball’s Pyramid, a volcanic stack in the Tasman Sea which is 562 meters in height and looks like it might be Cthulhu’s second home. Flickr has further views of this spectacular eruption but not as many as you might hope.

15 thoughts on “Outcrops”

  1. That rock formation has a vicious streak a mile wide…

    Thanks Jescie, I was hoping this might get some links to other places I haven’t seen.

  2. Thanks, Alfie, people apparently lived (or worked) on Aisla Craig too, which I didn’t know until I yesterday. Lindisfarne is a good one among the list of impressive sanctuaries although Mont St Michel beats everything with its silhouette.

  3. Mont St Michel does look impressive though it all looks a bit Euro-Disney lit up. Was holidaying in Kerry last month and had to cancel a trip out to Skellig Michael due to choppy weather, was sorely disappointed, it would have been the same strain of Celtic/Breton missionaries and monks at both sites. Great blog by the way, keep up the passion and the good work etc etc

  4. John, if you think Ailsa Craig is imposing (which it is), how about Staffa in the Hebrides, much smaller but with the stupendous Fingal’s Cave – any number of pics on the ‘net. Maybe best viewed when listening to Mendelssohn’s magificent overture “The Hebrides” Op 26, aka “Fingal’s Cave”

  5. I can’t see either of those pages since I don’t have a Facebook account, the urls redirect to a login page. Nor will I ever have a Facebook account. They’ve either been set up by someone who knows me (and never asked me about it) or (more likely) they’re an automated thing created by FB to co-opt everyone into their walled garden. China Miéville was complaining about this problem recently:


    Twitter is currently the limit of my interaction with social media.

  6. Jeremiah: Yes, Staffa and Mendelssohn are good ones although the place isn’t as solitary as these other locations. The Old Man of Hoy is more like it. YouTube has BASE jumpers tackling the latter.

  7. First one is just a copy of your Wikipedia entry details and second one is a guy from Queensland who has the same name as you.

    Interested in Women
    Current Location Gold Coast, Queensland.

    Definitely not you

  8. Just joined twitter myself the other day. Not really for socializing as I’m too antiscocial for that. Just following famous people I’m interested in.

    There’s a disclaimer at the bottom of the wikipedia copy

    ” Source
    Description above from the Wikipedia article John Coulthart, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors here. Community Pages are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, anyone associated with the topic.”

    42 people like your description if that means anything.
    Life the universe, everything

    CC-BY-SA links to this

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