not only does it NOT hold any biblical reference to the 12 fishermen jesus originally recruited to be his squad, but there’s only 8 of them. (9, if you include the one that collapsed in 2005.) so as to how the famous limestone formations along victoria’s great ocean road got its name, it got me scratching my head too. and not because of dandruff.
but between that and ‘the sow and piglets’ it was formerly called, i reckon the twelve apostles sounds more appealing. it might not make any sense but hey, it’s catchy. easier to market to tourists who visit victoria and are game enough to drive more or less 4 hours from melbourne just to watch a bunch of rocks before the forces of the wave, wind, and rain annihilate them into oblivion.
which makes them even more interesting. you know, kind of like those limited time offers you see on tv where you get an extra mop ABSOLUTELY FREE! if you call now and buy an overpriced vacuum you probably won’t use as much anyway. or would, but not as happily as the obviously paid actors look. like they’re just positively beaming while reaching into the deepest nooks and crannies. i mean, who does that?!
limited time offers. that’s deep. in the grand scheme of things, everything is a limited time offer. everyone is a limited time offer. and here i go again philosophizing shit when i should be talking about rocks.
to be very honest with you, i never really saw the true value of the twelve apostles while i was there. sure, the scenery was beautiful but at the same time, i was also like, “that’s it?”
i was stupid. i didn’t know any better. i should’ve wikipedia-d it before i went to be able to appreciate what i went there for.
‘coz here’s the thing:
the apostles is a collection of limestone stacks formed by erosion: the harsh and extreme weather conditions from the southern ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed; leaving rock stacks up to 50 metres high. (source)
and another thing:
Whilst the Port Campbell Limestone is generally dated at 15-20 million years old, it is a common misconception that visitors are viewing an ancient seascape. The formations people are actually viewing have formed in the last 6000 years (the time that sea levels have been at their current height). Dr Eric Bird surmises that the evolution of a rock stack from headland to arch to stack and eventual collapse can take place in just 600 years on the Port Campbell coast. (source)
in short, they are all slowly crumbling down. each and every day, we lose bits and pieces of them. so to still see them standing there and witness such majestic sight is a big deal and the privilege itself is something that we must treasure and be grateful for.
and if there’s one lesson we can gain from the last ones standing, it’s that they are made of the harder stuff. and somehow, in some cosmic way, they’re telling us to hold on and to be strong amidst the turbulent waves and winds that, um, rock our lives. we will survive it all.
we’re beautiful, damaged souls composed of the more hardy stuff. a higher concentration of calcium carbonate.
p.s. that last line goes for those three people in the photo too whose calcium carbonate levels are off the charts, basking naked in the warmth of the sun at the nudist beach close by.