When the ancient mariners from the east arrived in this region in the eighth century BC, they homed in on the beacon which was the Rock and were attracted to large marine caverns close to these southern platforms. We know that Phoenicians and ancient Greeks came here. According to legend, Hercules passed through here to take the cattle of Geryon - his tenth labour - and opened up the strait, creating the pillars which received his name (Hercules to the Romans).
These pillars are still clearly identifiable today: the Rock of Gibraltar on one side and the Jbel Musa on the other. The legend matches the scientific reality although the timescales are somewhat different. The last time the strait opened up was around five million years ago and there were no humans around to watch it happen. It must have been a spectacular event indeed. The Mediterranean had been land-locked for a very long time and had evaporated. Then as a fissure developed where the Strait of Gibraltar is today, the Atlantic gushed in filling the Mediterranean basin in just one hundred years, with a huge ten thousand foot waterfall at the entrance to the strait.
The Gibraltar Trinity Lighthouse, now fully automated is the only one regulated by Trinity House outside mainland United Kingdom. It dates back to 1841 and stands 49 metres above sea level with a range of approximately 37 kilometres.