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Bass Rock, Scotland


This is the most prominent of four islands in the Firth of Forth close to the shore near North Berwick. It is volcanic in origin, being the plug of a volcano that emerged in the Carboniferous Era around 300 million years ago.

It rises from the sea to about 350 feet, with sheer cliffs on three sides and a more gentle slope on the fourth. A castle was built here in the early 15th century and a lighthouse in 1903.

The rock has world importance due to the fact that up to 800,000 gannets nest on its cliffs. It is home to about 10% of the world’s North Atlantic gannets. The gannet’s scientific name – Morus bassana – derives from its presence on Bass Rock.

Boat trips can be taken to the Rock from North Berwick, and visitors are likely to see gray seals swimming near the Rock as well as vast numbers of gannets during the breeding season.

(The photo was taken from a copyright-free source)

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