5 Surprising Facts About Perce Rock That Will Blow Your Mind

Canada has never failed to amaze us. Starting from Northern Lights to National Park, from startling Toronto Skyline to Sea beaches, it has it all. It is a country with large landscape diversity. Everything about Canada makes it so much more desirable. The historical and geographical background that every place has, adds immeasurable values. Speaking of a place with great historical and geographical value, Canada is home to one of the most famous natural wonders of the world. Can you guess? Let me give you a clue it is a rock formation:

Perce Rock

Perce rock
by Werner Bayer/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Percé Rock is located on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on the tip of the Gaspé peninsula in Quebec, Canada. It is situated right next to the Bonaventure island, which together comes under the Percé Rock National park. It is a rock formation formed almost 400 million years ago with reddish-gold limestone and shale. It is estimated to be 450 meters in width, 90 meters in-depth, and 85 meters in height. It is a massive standing rock in Canada. It was named by Samuel de Champlain in 1603 during his voyage. “Perce Rock” It’s a unique name isn’t it? Do you want to know why it was named Percé?

Let me tell you. Well, “Percé Rock” is a french language which means pierced rock. In the pictures, you can see that the rock formation has a big arch-shaped hole. It looks like the rock has been pierced by an arch-shaped hole thus the name “Perce Rock”. Time and time the name percé rock or the pierced rock has proved to attract many visitors from across the globe.

Now, you have heard a lot of things about this limestone rock. I have something interesting for you. Here are five surprising facts about it that will blow your mind.

5 Surprising Facts About Percé Rock

1) Perce rock had more than one hole

You heard it right! Perce Rock had more than one hole. A lot of people are unknown of this fact. It has transformed with time and the environment. It is believed that there used to be three arches on the rock when Jacques Cartier came to explore the place. According to reports, the penultimate arch collapsed somewhere in 1875. Before its collapse, it used to look like a beautiful natural arch above the water with three arches.

Perce Rock has stood there for thousands of years. It is indeed a beautiful Unesco site. Many researchers have claimed that the Perce Rock was adjoined to the landmass. Due to climate change and other factors pitching in, the Perce Rock has faced years and years of erosion. The erosion caused by the seawater and the wind had gradually swept off a large portion of the Percé Rock. It is estimated that in about 16000 years from now the Perce rock will disappear completely.

2) Visitors not allowed atop

View of Perce rock
by JustinPoulsen/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Perce Rock has been there for years not a single human soul has ever gotten a view from atop the rock. Have you ever wondered what a beautiful sight it would be from the highest point of the rock, which is 85 meters tall? It is a beautiful rock. Many pictures of it are available on the internet but no image is taken from atop the rock. Strict rules and regulations are maintained and if violated severe punishments or fines are imposed.

Although the atop of the rock is inaccessible to humans, birds often find their way to the top. A lot of birds of different varieties are found wandering atop the rock. The top part of the rock is home to many birds. The bird’s perch can also be the reason behind the inaccessibility of humans. The exact cause is not well known though it is always wise to abide by the rules.

3) World’s Largest Natural Arches In Water

Perce Rock From A Distance
by jockrutherford/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

The Perce rock is the world’s largest natural arch in water. Shocked? I too was surprised when I came to know about this fact. The geological and historical value that percé rock holds in Quebec is of great significance. The locals and the local tourist office are very particular about this rock. They value the Rock Perce.

Percé Rock serves as a sign of the enormous tectonic force that lifted rocks and continents from the seafloor where they were formed to their current position above sea level. The ginormous structure of the Rock Perce makes it look like a ship in the sail. The stretch of the rock-forming a bent to create an arch naturally is the proof of how nature works like a wonder.

4) Percé Rock is home to 8 species of whales and 200 species of birds.

by Werner Bayer/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Percé Rock is home to 8 and more species of whales. Every year from May to December various species of whales are spotted in the waters of Perce Rock. The whales can be seen in Bonaventure island and Forillon National Park too. Species of whales such as blue whales, fin whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and beluga whales are found in the waters of this place.

Whales are not the only animals that are spotted here. Millions of birds migrate here every year. The most popular bird that visits Perce Rock as many as 120,000 are the northern gannets. It also attracts 110,000 nesting birds making it the second-largest in the world. Other migratory birds such as razorbills, kittiwakes, puffins, and black guillemot are also widely found in Perce rock.

5) You can take a walk to Percé Rock 

Not kidding! It is 100% true. You can walk to the Perce Rock during low tide. During low tides, the water gets low by a few inches and therefore a path comes up that leads you to the Perce Rock. Many locals and tourists have reached Perce Rock by foot. You too can experience this but be alert if you do so make sure that it is during low tide. The change from low tide to high tide doesn’t take a long time and therefore it is of high risk.

Although walking to the Perce Rock is permitted during low tide, I would suggest you avoid that. It is becoming dangerous to walk to the Percé Rock with each passing year due to the high erosion rate. A few years back a huge mass of rock fell into the water after getting worn out by the wind and water. These factors are not undeniable and should be taken into account before taking any step.

More About Perce Rock

It is a historically rich natural icon of the Gaspé peninsula that you should visit at least once in your lifetime. Plan a road trip to this place with your friends and family for just a couple of nights. The area also has a parking lot nearby large enough to fit multiple cars. Enjoy your time over there by relishing some of the best nearby restaurants that are mostly decent restaurants. You can find a stay nearby Bonaventure island and even near Perce Rock. There are many local hotels available, you can check deals online and pre-book for a better and hassle-free experience. Tours services are also available in Perce Rock if you need one.

Create wonderful memories and experience their beauty through your own eyes. Do not forget to take a boat tour to the Perce Rock. The experience that you will have is something that you will treasure for life. It is unimaginable how one rock, one national park, and one island have so much to offer. There are other venues and several locations nearby that you should visit too. The nearby attractions such as the Forillon national parks and the Gaspe peninsula will also blow your mind with their beauty.

The trip to this place might be a bit rough but it is worth every pain and trouble. It is as mesmerizing in real life as it is in the photos. The extravagant view of the island and the rock is second to none.

If you want to know more about this location, check out Perce Rock’s review on this TripAdvisor page. Check out this article by Icy Canada on the best road trips in Canada. You can also use this article to learn about road trips to Percé Rock and what to do to enjoy there.

Let me know if you know about these facts in the comment section. Also, comment below if you know any other facts about this place that I have missed.

8 Must-See Natural Wonders in Canada
Icy Canada

Last Updated on by Priyanshi Sharma


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