Authorities said the Brimham Rocks, which balanced delicately on the side of a cliff and were molded by weather for millions of years, were pushed over the edge and broke into dozens of pieces after hitting the ground. The tourist destination owned by the National Trust attracts thousands of visitors each year, according to Metro UK.
“At around 8:45 p.m. on (Friday, June 1), a group of five young people were seen pushing a rock at the top of one of the crags,” said North Yorkshire Police. “This resulted in the rock falling from the crag causing damage to the crag face. The damage this has caused is irreplaceable and it is now in a potentially dangerous condition.”
In addition to the destruction of the rock formation, the vandals also carved names and other messages into the rocks that have been denoted an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, according to Bored Panda.
“It might have been fun for some people,” National Trust spokeswoman Helen Clarke told Bored Panda. “Actually, it is just completely pointless and needless.”
The National Trust said the rock formations were “created by an immense river 100 million years before the first dinosaurs walked the Earth.”
Police officers have asked anyone with information about the vandalism to come forward and speak with them.