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Fun and Odd Oregon Coast Facts: Seal Rock State Rec Site and Its Village

Published 01/22/2018 at 3:05 AM PDT - Updated 01/22/2018 at 3:09 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff


(Newport, Oregon) – From the startling geology of the place to quirky elements of its history, Seal Rock the tiny village – and Seal Rock State Recreational Site – have a lot of distinctive aspects about it that truly set it apart from other Oregon beach waysides. Mostly, people zip through the lazy hamlet at close to the speed limit on their way to either Waldport or Newport, noticing little else than the brief glimpse of surf and sea or the curio shops that sit landward.

It's easy to keep on going. That's a mistake, however.

Seal Rock State Recreational Site is one of the more phenomenal beaches on the entire coastline, where so much is packed into a half mile or so.

What you'll find below is a mere sampling of the trippy and delightful finds. It's a teaser to a spot you'll simply have to see to believe.


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Strange Oregon Coast History: Legend of Seal Rock Sea Monsters. Sometimes, history is wackier than fiction. According to the Lincoln County Historical Society archives, an outlandish report of sea monsters at what is now known as Seal Rock – just south of Newport and a bit north of Waldport – happened in 1935. Only three years before Orson Welles' famed mass hysteria-inducing radio presentation of “War of the Worlds” (it aired in 1938), a local newspaper in Newport said a couple living in the burgeoning village known then as Seal Rocks claimed they'd seen more than one sea monster that could've been straight out of a Jules Verne novel.

It's right up there with the crazy “UFO boxes” hoax of 2012, or the fictional short story 100 years ago that created the legend of the ghost girl at Newport's Yaquina Bay – except this goofy tale has been covered by the sands of time. ....MORE....

Seal Rock State Recreational Site log bundles

A Half-Circle of Serious Fun: Seal Rock State Recreational Site, on the Central Oregon Coast. As you first meander down the walkway from the parking lot, you'll initially be greeted by this rather awe-inspiring sight: the great half-circle of Seal Rock – a few miles south of Newport and a handful of miles north of Waldport. Gargantuan logs litter the beach, mostly at the upper area covered in large, polished stones. This is quite the testimony to the power of the ocean, so keep that in mind while traipsing around this potentially very dangerous area. ....MORE....

Seal Rock State Recreational Site weird ruts, structures

Oregon Coast Virtual Tour: Seal Rock Tidepools, Curious Shapes, Strange Basalts. Surreal and yet serene, this beachy oddball is more than just scenic eye candy.

A variety of grooves and intriguing shapes inhabit this fun and funky half-circle that is the beach of Seal Rock and Seal Rock State Recreational Site. While the towering semi-sea stack of Elephant Rock and a handful of basalt blobs of varying degrees of jaggedness stand in the tide, as if they're purposefully keeping it at bay, other smaller curiosities poke out of the sand – given the right conditions.

One looks like an egg that has fallen apart – a curious roundish shape that is broken now. What created these weird and craggy constructs? Each with a different, odd outline. It's the kind of question only a geologist could answer. ....MORE....


Oregon Coast Landmark: Exploring Seal Rock's Varied Details. The main attraction is, of course, the big rock itself: a towering behemoth of black basalt that presides over all the other myriad attractions. This is actually Elephant Rock - not the "Seal Rock" in the town's name. Curiously enough, this beach was originally called Seal Rocks - with an "s." That eventually dropped by the wayside. ....MORE....

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