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Medieval Town Becomes an Island During 'Tide of the Century'

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The French hamlet of Mont Saint-Michel, famed for its 8th century monastery and imposing fortifications, is normally connected to the Normandy mainland by a thin causeway. But thanks to high tides and the strong gravitational pull generated by this weekend's solar eclipse, the 44-person medieval town and Unesco World Heritage site was briefly turned into an island. The event is being called the "tide of the century," with tides as high as 46 feet surrounding the fortified town. The photos are fantastic.

The top of Mont Saint-Michel's famous gothic abbey is 302 feet above sea level. The English channel is roiled by atypically high tides once every 18 years or so, but this "supertide" was particularly impressive. Thousands of visitors came to watch the water rise up around the town. "It's been a long time since we've seen Mont Saint-Michel surrounded by the sea. I was born in this region and I never saw it like this," one observer told the AP. Take a look:

· The 'tide of the century' turns an ancient French abbey into an island [Washington Post]
· All Natural Wonders posts [Curbed National]