We Put the Rock Through its Paces

Uluru (unofficially known as Ayer’s Rock) is the monolithic heart of Australia’s forbidding Outback, a vast red rock that epitomises the otherworldliness of the country’s landscapes. But just how big is it really?

An alternative view of Uluru

1. The rock as we know it today was created over a period of 600 million years. This means it was there, in some form, since before single-celled organisms emerged from the sea to evolve into animal life.

2. Uluru started life at the bottom of the ocean. Today it stands at 1,100 feet over the plains that surround it. Which means it’s taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

3. What we see above ground is only a small part of the rock. It reaches some 8,200 feet underground (although nobody knows for sure). To put that into perspective, the deepest London Underground station (Hampstead) is a mere 192ft below the city surface.

4. Uluru is 5.8 miles around the base, meaning it would take Mo Farah approximately 25 minutes to complete a single lap (not taking into account the less-than-ideal running conditions).

5. Aborigines, for whom the site is sacred, have lived around Uluru for some 10,000 years. This means they were there while the mammoths were going extinct in Eurasia and North America.

These facts just about answer our question; Uluru is really, really big.