Porphyry Island – Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior

Just east of Thunder Bay on Lake Superior’s northern shore, Canada, lies the volcanic Black Bay Peninsula that separates Black Bay and Nipigon Bay, and consists of over 300 distinct lava flows. Porphyry Island is the last in a chain of islands that stretch southwest from the peninsula and is named for the island’s igneous rock, known as porphyry, that contains quartz and feldspar crystals. Another unique peculiarity of the island is the presence of the so-called devil’s club, a shrub with a spiny stem and large leaves. Porphyry Island…

Read More

Cape Bruny: the second oldest lighthouse in Australia

The Cape Bruny Lighthouse, that towers 114m, is an inactive lighthouse located at the southern tip of Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia. First lit in March 1838 and eventually decommissioned on 6 August 1996, It is the second oldest lighthouse in Australia. The project was commissioned by Governor George Arthur in 1835 after a series of shipwrecks south of Bruny Island. Cape Bruny, and in general southern coastlines, were feared by many early navigators and Tasmania had over 400 shipwrecks around its wild coastlines. The catastrophic wreck of the convict transport…

Read More

Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse: the picturesque cliffside beacon that no longer calls to sailors but shines once a year in honor of a famous shipwreck.

The cliffside lighthouse is built on a 41-meters wall of rock overlooking Lake Superior. The structure was designed by lighthouse engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham and was completed in 1910 by the United States Lighthouse Service at a cost of $75,000, including the buildings and the land. It was built after the disastrous Mataafa Storm wrecked 29 ships in the area five years previous, and one of these shipwrecks, the Madeira, is located just north of the lighthouse. At the time of its construction, there were no roads to the area:…

Read More

Why do fireflies glow?

Fireflies, also known a lightning bugs, have been captivating humans for centuries with their enchanting lights on summer nights. Insects have a vivid history within folklore and mythology. Butterflies, bees, scarabs and other bugs have become symbolic markers of rebirth, purity, life and death, and the firefly is no exception. In ancient Amazonian mythology, their light came from the gods and provided hope and guidance while, in Japanese legend, two species of firefly, the Genji-hotaru and the Heike-hotaru, are associated with the ghosts of the Minamoto warriors and the Taira…

Read More

South Stack Lighthouse: one of Wales’ most visited and spectacular lighthouses

South Stack is one of Wales’ most visited and spectacular lighthouses. It is located about 2-3 miles west of Holyhead, on a tiny islet just off Holy Island on the North West tip of Anglesey. It has been a warning beacon for passing ships since it’s construction over 200 years ago, cautioning them of the deadly rocks below. The lighthouse helps guide shipping in the busy channel into the Mersey and is a waymark for local seafarers, but also for coastal traffic crossing the Irish Sea too and from the…

Read More

Cabo da Roca: the most westerly point of mainland Europe.

We are in Portugal. The diverse heritage and stunning architecture make it a must-see for history lovers, while its very good cuisine is a foodie’s dream and the coastline attracts surfers and beach-goers from all over the world. If you’re planning a break to this fantastic country, don’t forget to stand on the Most Western Point in Europe Okay, technically just continental Europe, but that’s still pretty cool. To do this, you’ll need to head to Cabo da Roca, in the municipality of Sintra. The beautiful coastal trail offers stunning…

Read More

Rathlin West Lighthouse: a beloved upside-down beacon off the coast of Northern Ireland

A trip to picturesque Rathlin, the only developed island off the coast of Northern Ireland, offers several things including wildlife, a medieval history and more. Three lighthouses guide boats along Rathlin, and the seafaring excitement begins as soon as you leave the shores of Ballycastle. The island is home also of one of the largest seabird colonies in the UK. Every year over 250,000 seabirds such as guillemots (which only come on land to nest and can dive to a depth of 180 metres underwater), razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars (a grey…

Read More

How Blacksod lighthouse changed the course of the World War II

Blacksod Lighthouse, Fód Dubh in Gaelic, is a lighthouse at the southern end of the Mullet Peninsula, Erris, County Mayo, at the entrance to Blacksod Bay, Ireland, where the catch of the day will always include wild Atlantic lobster. The area also boasts jaw dropping scenery and offers sanctuary for Irish whales & dolphins under supervision of the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group. The 150-year-old structure is made of local granite blocks, which are believed to have come from Termon Hill, a nearby isolated outcrop of high quality granite in…

Read More

The gray cat ghost at Fairport Harbor Lighthouse – Ohio

Even though the Fairport Harbor Light on Lake Erie, Ohio, was given the amazing nickname “The light that shone for 100 years”, it actually doesn’t live up to its name. The current lighthouse didn’t earn the nickname alone, because Its predecessor, which was built in the same site, shone for the first 46 years. The original lighthouse was built in 1825 and, when the population of the town reached 300, the Painesville Telegraph issued a notice asking for lighthouse bids. Collector of Customs, A. Walworth, signed the proposal but, unfortunately,…

Read More

North Island Lighthouse: the oldest lighthouse in South Carolina ~

Heralding the entrance from the Atlantic Ocean into the shipping channel between North Island and South Island stands the oldest lighthouse in South Carolina. For two centuries, mariners have passed this lighthouse on their way to or from Winyah Bay and the Seaport of Georgetown, located 10 miles away. On a sunny, clear day, the North Island Lighthouse (or Georgetown Light, as it has sometimes been called) is visible from Belle Isle Marina as a tiny iridescent white column while, at night, it is discernible from the same vantage point…

Read More

East Cape Lighthouse: the iconic lighthouse in easternmost point of New Zealand

If you’re visiting New Zealand, the East Cape Lighthouse should be included in your plans. It is a lighthouse perched on Otiki Hill above East Cape, the iconic easternmost point on the North Island of New Zealand, and what feels like the end of the earth. Once there, you’ll only see miles and miles of ocean. Surrounded by pristine coastline and out of this world views, It is owned and operated by Maritime New Zealand. The lighthouse was originally constructed on nearby East Island. However the island was difficult to…

Read More

Gibraltar Point Lighthouse: the historic lighthouse on Toronto Island

The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is located on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Begun in 1808 and first lit in 1809, it is the oldest existing lighthouse on the Great Lakes, the second oldest in Canada and one of Toronto’s oldest buildings. When completed in August 1809, the lighthouse was located 7.6 m from the shore. Since then, sand has built up over time so that it now stands about 100 metres inland. When opened, it was accompanied by a lighthouse keeper’s cottage, a two-stories squared-log house clad in…

Read More

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse – the Philippines

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, in the Philippines, also known as Burgos Lighthouse, is a cultural heritage structure in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, that was established during the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines. It was first lit on March 30, 1892, and is set high on Vigia de Nagpartian Hill overlooking the scenic Cape Bojeador where early galleons used to sail by. After over 100 years, it still functions and serves ships that enter the Philippine Archipelago from the north and guide them safely away from the rocky coast of the town.…

Read More

Robbins Reef Lighthouse – Staten Island, New Jersey

The Kill van Kull is a tidal strait between Staten Island, New York and Bayonne, New Jersey, that connects Upper New York Bay with Newark Bay. Marking the eastern end of the Kill is the Robbins Reef Lighthouse. Dutch colonists acquired the island of Manhattan in 1626, and it was formally incorporated as the city of New Amsterdam on February 2, 1653, encouraging many Dutch settlers to put down their roots in the area.As the Dutch settled the area, explorers referred to many of the locations based on shape, geography,…

Read More

Anclote Key Lighthouse: this skeletal cast-iron tower in one of Florida’s most remote state parks was built to withstand wind and waves.

At the Southern edge of Anclote Key, Florida, a spindly red-brown tower rises above the surrounding treeline, topping out at about 34 meters. It is the Anclote Key Lighthouse, which served as a navigational aid for ships in the Gulf of Mexico for nearly a century. The unusual beacon is located on the largest of the Anclote Keys, a group of barrier islands in Florida. The city was officially incorporated in 1887, the same year that the railroad reached the area and the lighthouse was erected, originally commissioned a year…

Read More

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse: this striped tower is the furthest east you can go in the United States!

A nondescript gravel road leads to a quaint old stubby lighthouse on the furthest point east in Maine and, indeed, the whole of the United States. West Quoddy Head is now a state park and small museum, but it has also served as a lookout on the coast of Maine since 1808. It is an easterly-pointing peninsula in southeastern Lubec, overlooking Quoddy Narrows, a strait between Lubec and Campobello Island, Canada, that provides access to Passamaquoddy Bay and harbors located on the St. Croix River and other rivers which the…

Read More

Blackhead Lighthouse | Northern Ireland

Blackhead Lighthouse, located only half an hour from Belfast and on the Causeway Coastal Route, was built in 1902. It marks the very northern end of Belfast Lough where it opens out into the North Channel that separates Northern Ireland and Scotland. Over the years, It would have guided many famous vessels during Belfast’s golden age of shipping, including the ill-fated Titanic. It was converted to electric operation in 1965, and lightkeepers lived at the station until 1975. It is one of 65 lighthouses operated by the Commissioners of Irish…

Read More

Terrible Tilly, the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

When you see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, you probably think, “Oh, what a beautiful lighthouse!” But – there is more, much more, to its story. Devastating storms, harsh existence, isolation, madness, death, and even hauntings – all add up to the myths, mystery, and intrigue surrounding the lighthouse not by chance nicknamed “Terrible Tilly”. But let’s start at the beginning. One mile west of Tillamook Head, a rock Shaped like a sea monster rises from the ocean. It is where old Nor’easters go to die, and where Indians believed under…

Read More

Point Lookout Lighthouse: why is it one of America’s most haunted lighthouse?

Sometimes lighthouses are the only lifeline for seafarers lost in the dark of night or the chaos of a violent storm. However, they don’t always work as many sailors, captains, and passengers have died from coastal accidents, pirate attacks, or an inability to see the light. In addition, the lighthouse keeper’s job consists of isolation, fear, and uncertainty in the face of massive responsibility. It is for these reasons that many believe lighthouses are haunted. And it seems that Point Lookout Lighthouse is one of king of haunted lighthouses. The…

Read More

February 2: Candlemas, feast of purification

Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Feast of the Holy Encounter, is a very old holiday with a Christian-Pagan history commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple (based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22–40). According to Leviticus 12, the third book of the Old Testament, a woman was to be purified by presenting a lamb as a burnt offering, and either a young pigeon or dove…

Read More

Galley Head Lighthouse | Ireland

Galley Head Lighthouse rises an imposing 53m above the roaring Atlantic ocean outside of Rosscarbery, County Cork, on the south coast of Ireland. It is a charming white lighthouse that sits at the southernmost point of a picturesque headland known as Dundeady Island and is close to the charming market town of Clonakilty, home of the famous black pudding. The headland is cut off from the mainland by the ancient walls of the old Norman stronghold of Dun Deidi, an important fortress of the local O’Cowhig Clan. Despite Galley Head…

Read More

Okuda San Miguel, the spanish artist that turned an old lighthouse into a vibrantly colored work of art

Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel turned a regular lighthouse in northern Spain’s Cantabria region into an eye-catching work of art. Literally inspired by the “natural wealth of the region by representing local fauna and, with its textures, the cultural diversity of a modern and open Cantabria, which is connected to the world,” he turned the Faro de Ajo lighthouse into a technicolor work, featuring more than 70 vibrant hues. His signature style comprises vibrant geometric patterns that integrate animals, skulls, and religious iconography. He started work on the 16-meter-tall lighthouse…

Read More

Gummatapura: the Indian village that ends Diwali with massive cow dung battle

The small Indian village of Gummatapura is famous all over the world for its unique way of ending the annual Diwali celebrations: a massive cow dung battle called “Gorehabba”. If Spain has La Tomatina, a famous battle with tomatoes, and Italy has the traditional Battle of Oranges during popular Ivrea’s Carnival, India has Gorehabba, a cow dung battle to end the important Diwali festivities. Diwali is literally the Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest…

Read More

Clare Island Lighthouse, an Ireland hidden gem

A visit to Clare Island Lighthouse, Ireland, is absolutely something different.First, you can leave your car behind at Roonagh Pier on the Mayo mainland and, journey across the water for a quaint visit on the Island. Clare Island lighthouse and its buildings have been restored and transformed into a luxury guesthouse, and the island itself offer a wealth of activity including walking, cycling, fishing, music and crafts. The original lighthouse was built in 1806 by the Marquis of Sligo, on the isolated northern tip of Clare Island. However, seven years…

Read More

Grace Darling, the Lighthouse Heroine

Maybe not everyone knows her, but It would be wrong to describe Grace Darling as an unsung heroine: songs have been composed about her right up to 2017, but also books have been written, a choir has been named after her, and more than 200 years after she was born on this day, November 24, 1815, a website dedicated to her is still thriving. Grace was born in the town of Bamburgh in the North-Eastern English county of Northumberland. Her father, William, was the main keeper of the Longstone lighthouse…

Read More

Saginaw River Lighthouse

Saginaw Bay lies between Michigan’s thumb and the rest of the state’s Lower Peninsula. As Michigan was preparing to become a state, it adopted a constitution in 1835 that encouraged internal improvements such as roads and canals. A project that was contemplated at this time was linking Saginaw River, which flowed into eponymous Bay, with Grand River, which flowed into Lake Michigan. The Saginaw River lighthouse stands about a mile from the mouth of the river. It worked in conjunction with a beacon closer to the mouth and, when sailors…

Read More

Fanad Head: sandy beaches, epic views, whales and sunken treasure…

Standing between idyllic Lough Swilly, one of Ireland’s very few glacial fjords, and sandy Mulroy Bay, lies Fanad Head Lighthouse. With its location in the Donegal Gaeltacht, an Irish speaking area, on the eastern shore of windswept Fanad Peninsula, it’s little wonder that it is considered one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world. In addition, this area is regularly visited by creatures including whales, porpoises and dolphins. Fanad Lighthouse was proposed in response to a maritime tragedy, the wrecking of HMS Saldanha just in Lough Swilly. On the…

Read More

Hook Lighthouse: one of the oldest operating lighthouse in the world

We are on Hook Head at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, in Ireland. Hook Lighthouse is an astonishing still-intact medieval lighthouse. Built 800 years ago, it continues to serve its original function and now boasts the award of the second oldest operating lighthouse in the world, after the Tower of Hercules in Spain. The lighthouse marks to entrance to Waterford harbour where the Barrow, Nore and Suir rivers meet. It operates with Tuskar Rock and Mine Head lights to provide coverage on the Ireland’s South East…

Read More

Ballycotton Lighthouse, one of only two black lighthouses in Ireland

Built in the late 1840s, Ballycotton Lighthouse sits atop the unspoilt eponymous Island, in Ireland. On January 16, 1847 the paddle steamship Sirius, the first vessel to cross the Atlantic ocean completely under steam, was sailing from Glasgow to Cork via Dublin, but shipwrecked here in dense fog. The disaster claimed the lives of 20 passengers and crew but, luckily, around 70 people lived to tell the story. The lighthouse was built as a result, and it was first lit in 1851. Families of the lightkeepers lived on the island…

Read More

When was the lighthouse invented? 👀

Guiding ships for countless centuries, as well as looking spectacular on the horizon, every lighthouse boast at least one of fascinating story. From humble beginnings as primitive flames to their automation today, these flashing lights have come a long way. Did you believe? The earliest from of lighthouses was probably just bonfires on the beach and, since raising the fire would improve the visibility, placing it on a platform became a practice that led to the development of our modern beacons. Lighthouses historic beginnings stretch right back to Egypt, where…

Read More