Kannesteinen Rock – Vågsøy, Norway - Atlas Obscura
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Vågsøy, Norway

Kannesteinen Rock

Thousands of years of crashing waves gave this mushroom-shaped rock its svelte figure.  

A mushroom-shaped rock looms above the coast near Måløy, Norway. Over time, strong westerly winds caused the ocean to erode and shape many of the stones along the shore, including this one. Thousands of years of crashing waves gave the Kannesteinen Rock its distinct svelte figure.

Depending on the angle (and the viewer’s imagination), the mushroom rock may take the shape of a goblet, a leafy stem, a wonky heart, a statue of a mushroom cloud, or a lopsided whale tale bursting through the surrounding stones. Locals used to call the misshapen geological figure “kannestolen” because it supposedly also resembles a one-legged chair (“stolen” is the Norwegian word for chair).

The rock, though sporting an oddly thin middle, is still stable. Three or four people can comfortably climb atop its surface, though this can be a tricky feat during high tide. It’s now a sought-after spot for photographers, and is even considered a protected location under Norwegian law.