The Siren Rocks, Foca, Turkey Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

The Siren Rocks, Foca, Turkey

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The Siren Rocks, written about in Homer's Odyssey, were, according to legend, the home of some rather eccentric ladies, after whom the rocks were named. Sirens - half-bird, half-human, female creatures - were said to sing with such beautiful voices that passing sailors who heard them were lured to drive their ships crashing straight onto the rocks. Invariably the ships sank and the sailors drowned...

The hero of the Odyssey himself, Odysseus, is said to have had a close encounter with these women here on his rather long journey home from the wars of Troy. By tying himself to a mast and plugging all the ears of his shipmates, he was able to hear their enchanting songs while being unable to give any orders that would prove fatal for the whole lot of them.

Although the ladies most definitely have departed, the rocks are still lying right where they left them. They are within easy reach by way of a short boat trip off the west coast of Turkey. Organising a boat trip out to the rocks is easily done in the fishing village of Foca, which lies close by.

The rocks are made up of limestone, and their sheer, white cliff-faces are truly a spectacular sight after thousands of years being beaten by the sea and the weather. These incredible formations have dozens of small and large outcrops, some caves and also a small channel or two dug by the sea through the limestone.

The island where the Siren Rocks are situated is also home to a very rare species of seal called the Mediterranean Monk Seal. These seals have been rated among the five most endangered species on earth, so be very careful not to disturb them in any way. There are about 500-600 of them left in the whole world, so if you do spot them, either keep your distance or run the other way! If you're really lucky, you might also spot some dolphins swimming about in the waters.

And if you're unlucky, perhaps you might also fall prey to the Siren Rocks....

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