Due to their magnificent landscape beauty, the great indentation of the coastline and wealth of living marine ecosystems, the area was proclaimed a national park in 1980. Composed of 140 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs the Kornatis are the largest and densest archipelago in the Adriatic. Due to the typically karstic terrain, the islands are riddled with cracks, caves, grottoes and rugged cliffs. The deforestation has highlighted startling rock formations, whose stark whiteness against the deep-blue Adriatic is an eerie and wonderful sight. They form four groups running northwest to southeast. The first two groups of islands lie closer to the mainland and are known locally as Gornji Kornat and the largest of these islands is Žut.