The Azure Window, a famous sea arch on the island of Gozo, Malta, collapsed into the Mediterranean Sea during a storm on Wednesday 8 March 2017. The arch was a popular attraction with tourists visiting the island, and was made famous by an appearance in the television series Game of Thrones, where it formed the backdrop to the wedding of Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo; it was also featured in films such as Clash of the Titans and The Count of Monte Christo.
Sea arches are dramatic features, and long-lived by Human standards, but are formed by coastal erosion and have a finite lifetime. Sea arches are formed when an exposed headland has a softer rock at its base than above (in this case a soft clay limestone beneath a harder coralline limestone), which causes the arch to be hollowed out as the underlying stone is washed away. Obviously this is an unstable situation, and eventually the arch becomes so undermined that it collapses into the sea.
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