They are the buildings that have saved countless lives at sea by guiding ships to safety in some of the world’s most dangerous locations.
And a new book has revealed the most fascinating and stunning lighthouses from around the world.
Lighthouses: Beacons of the Sea by author David Ross charts 150 both operational and abandoned lighthouses in places ranging from busy coastlines to desolate islands.
The tome also shows how they witness the most extremes of weather, from heavenly sunsets to being encased in ice.
And among the breathtaking pictures featured in the book are images of the Gadeokdo East Breakwater Lighthouse in South Korea which looks like the prow of a ship and the Jeddah Port Control Tower in Saudi Arabia – one of the tallest in the world.
Scroll down to discover some of the world’s most fascinating lighthouses included in the book…
With a focal height of 125ft, the Gadeokdo East Breakwater Lighthouse in South Korea is built of concrete and sweeps up in a quarter-circle arc like the prow of a ship. Painted red, it stands at the west end of a detached breakwater. Its light is also red, flashing every four seconds
Completed in 1990, the Jeddah Port Control Tower in Saudi Arabia is a 431ft structure and is one of the world’s tallest lighthouses. It incorporates a light and an observation platform. Built in futuristic style from steel and concrete, it incorporates lifts for personnel and visitors. It emits three white flashes every 20 seconds
Thick ice clings to the Outer Lightouse at St Joseph North Pier on Lake Michigan in the USA. It has a 35ft iron tower and raised access walkway, at the end of the harbour breakwater. Since 2008, the outer and inner lights have been managed by the city as a historic site
Built on a prefabricated iron frame, with screwpile foundations, Dovercourt Low Ligthouse in Essex, pictured, together with the Upper Light, was inaugurated in 1863 to guide ships into Harwich and Felixstowe harbours. Out of use since 1917, both lighthouses have been preserved as historic structures and visitor attractions
The Ban Tha Thewawong Lighthouse in Thailand is a white tower supported by a broad square upper section with a viewing platform and topped by a lantern under temple-like roofs. The total height is 128ft. Built in 2012, it is privately maintained and lit up at night. It also emits a white flash every 3.3 seconds
Built in 1847, Plover Scar Lighthouse in Morcambe Bay was the lower of a pair of lights leading into the Lune Estuary. A circular stone tower with an octagonal light chamber reaching a height of 24ft, it flashes white every two seconds. Hit by a ship in 2016, it has since been restored
The harbour light at West Pierhead Lighthouse in Cleveland Harbour in Ohio was first installed in 1931. This image shows winter ice cloaking the cast-iron lighthouse, built in 1911 to guide ships from Lake Erie into the Port of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga River. It is now out of commission
An ornate octagonal cast-iron tower 156ft tall and completed in 1896, Les Pâquis Lighthouse is a famous Geneva landmark. It is regularly floodlit, but still functions as a lighthouse, with white and green lights beamed in separate directions
Australia’s second-oldest surviving lighthouse, operational from 1838 to 1996, Cape Bruny Lighthouse in Tasmania was built by convicts out of rubblestone and stands 43ft high. The light now comes from an adjacent, shorter, fibreglass structure
Rising from the sandy beach, with no access at high tide, the Point of Ayr Lighthouse in Talacre Beach is Wales’s oldest extant lighthouse. It was built in 1776, although it has been inactive since 1883. Rescued from semi-derelict condition in the 1990s, it makes a bright white landmark, 59ft high
Situated north of the Arctic Circle, the light at the Kjeungskjaer Lighthouse, in Norway is not needed between 21 July and 16 May each year. Built in 1880, this is Norway’s only octagonal lighthouse, and is 68ft high. Its occulting light (whereby the light period is longer than the dark period) flashes red, white and green every six seconds
The Bressay Lighthouse in Shetland is a cylindrical masonry tower, built in 1858, and is 152ft high. Automated in 1989, its light has been maintained by the Lerwick Port Authority since 2012. Formerly with a 26-mile) beam, it is now visible for 12 miles
Originally (in 1839) the sea-washed tower of Cockspur Island Lighthouse in Georgia, USA was only a daymark; a light was installed in 1848. The present 46-ft structure was in active service from 1909 to 2007; it is still lit as a historic attraction
The Dry Tortugas Lighthouse at Loggerhead Key in Florida is the remotest lighthouse of the United States, established in 1858. Built of brick, in standard frustum form, it is 157ft tall. The light was electrified in 1933, and automated in 1988. Since 2015 it has been operated by a VRB-25 beacon
Since 1851, Cape Recife Lighthouse in Port Elizabeth, South Africa has stood on a rock foundation, rising 79ft above the beach. Its original Fresnel lens is still in use, although electrically lit. It shows a continuous white light intensified by long white flashes, with a red sector
Happisburgh Lighthouse in Norfolk has been warning shipping about coastal sandbanks since 1790. Officially declared redundant in 1988, it has operated under local management since 1990. It is the only independently run coastal lighthouse in the UK. The double red-banded tower is 85ft high, with a triple white flash every 30 seconds
The tallest lighthouse of the Nordic countries, standing on a rocky islet at the mouth of the Gulf of Finland, the Bengtskär Lighthouse in Finland rises 151ft above the rock. Built of local granite in 1906, it was converted to windpower electricity in 1983, and renovated in the 1990s. It emits three white flashes every 20 seconds
The Aurora Borealis is often seen above the Garðskagi Old Lighthouse in Iceland, a square concrete structure 41ft tall that was built in 1897. Its light system was transferred into a new, taller tower close by, built in 1944
Overlooking the artificial Lake Ray Hubbard at Rockwall in Dallas, Texas, this white-painted octagonal lighthouse, designed in traditional style, was opened in 1968. Standing at 35ft high, and with a diameter of eight feet, it shows a revolving white light
All images taken from the book Lighthouses: Beacons of the Sea, by David Ross. Published by Amber Books Ltd (RRP £19.99)