Batu Sapi Rock Formation at Sandakan, North Borneo in 1920s

Batu Sapi in Sandakan got its name from a huge rock formation that resembles a bull.

This unique formation was due to wind and erosion that took millions of years. The photo above was taken in 1920’s.

There is a mystical belief surrounding the rock formation that was believed to be situated in a fishing village.

Once upon a time, a giant crocodile swam towards the village while the villagers were at home for Maghrib prayers.

However a bull that spotted the crocodile jumped into the sea to fight off the crocodile and the commotion attracted the villagers.

During the fierce fight, both animals were struck by lightning and transformed into a stone of the shape as seen today.

This is how it looks today. Due to its weight the rock “pillars” were no longer able to support it. It’s now laying horizontally with another rock supporting its other end.

The area is now gazetted and named Batu Sapi Heritage Park.

Today’s Batu Sapi image courtesy of Nazrey on

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Richard Ker

I love the history of North Borneo (Sabah) and strive to digitally archive any related information on this website. I'm also the author of and Follow me on Twitter @richardker.

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