The newsletter item by Hayward (2014) considers the issue of geoconservation. To visit the boulders, head to Koekohe Beach, between Moeraki and Hampden on State Highway 1. The local Maori culture values a connection with nature and the preservation of its resources. The Boulders are about 40km (approx 30 minutes drive) … Foggy day on the Koekohe beach. Kimberly will continue to venture around the world and write about the history she encounters. As the sedimentary rock layers the boulders formed in are were eroded away, the harder, more resistant concretions were left behind. A Continent on the Move: New Zealand Geoscience into the 21st Century. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. As you can see from the photos below, the Moeraki Boulders are quite large, some reaching up to 15, 400 lbs (7 tonne) and can measure more than 9 feet across (3m). Mysteries in the Plain of Jars, Laos. The Moeraki Boulders lie in Otago, on the east coast of South Island, New Zealand. ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  They kind of look like big cannon balls, or alien orbs, but the reality is that they are “concretions that have been exposed through shoreline erosion from coastal cliffs” (according to the official Moeraki Boulders website). They are now legally protected from removal or vandalism. The boulders range anywhere from 3ft-7ft in diameter, and weigh several tons. Moeraki is on the east coast of New Zealand. Scientific: Science classifies them as septarian concretions. Moeraki Boulders on the beach in New Zealand. “Midway between the Bluff and Moeraki, the clay contains layers of septaria [concretions], varying from one to five feet and more in diameter. The Moeraki boulders date from the Paleocene epoch which translates as the early recent. However, most photos you see of the boulders from google or postcards are quite outdated. However, I do have a disclaimer: initially, it was a bit of a let down. The Moeraki Boulders were the first “Pinterest destination” I crossed off my list after arriving in New Zealand. Along Highway 1, there is a hidden beach that contains a high density of concretions. These boulders are located on Koekohe beach. Tourist information says the boulders were “exposed by erosion of sedimentary rocks laid down from 65 to 13 million years ago. In it, Mantell showed the presence of a greater number of beach stones than there is today. I have visited the site many times & each time is different. Moeraki Boulders – Photo Credit: Donald Manlapaz, Moeraki Boulders – Photo Credit: Jason Chua. The 4-million-year age on the tourist sign is another example of the constant indoctrination of the public into the belief system of millions of years… Over the years, the Moeraki Boulders have been taken as souvenirs and even turned into cement. A storm engulfed the Arai Te Uru during the return journey and the hulled voyager wrecked off the Otago Coast at a place called Shag Point. For those who don’t want to get their feet sandy, there is also a viewing platform overlooking the area. Some were subglobular, [Quote continues…] 1850.] Source: Wikimedia, pseudopanax, public domain. There is so much to see over on this side of the country, Moeraki Boulders, Fleurs Cafe, Katiki Point lighthouse, Moeraki town and so much more! From there I decided to head over to the famous Moeraki Boulders for a coffee and a bit of relaxing before journeying north. It is an easy (and very scenic) drive on State Highway 1 from the north or south. Unlike the Otago Coast boulders, these stones formed within layers of volcanic ash in a process that scientists are still trying to understand. Weighing Human Souls – The 21 Grams Theory, Gases that expand when the organic centers decompose, Earthquakes or compaction that caused fractures. A shattered Moeraki Boulder reveals a colorful core. Sedimentary particles and minerals, such as calcite, aggregated around the organic matter in concentric layers (layer upon layer). Erosion is part of it, but many have “walked away” as souvenirs. How Were the Moeraki Boulders Formed? It took about 4 million years for the Boulders to get to their current size; There are over 50 boulders on the Koekohe Beach; The largest boulders weigh 7 tons and are 2-3 meters wide; There used to be many more Moeraki Boulders (based on old photos) but bad tourists took the smaller ones as souvenirs, so only those too heavy to move are left. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. There are over 50 boulders on the beach, which range in size from 0.5m to just over 2.2m but can also be up to 3 meters wide. There were many more boulders on the Moeraki beach, but the small and easy-to-transport rocks have been stolen over time, often to decorate gardens. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Take a walk to the Moeraki Boulders – geological marvels, exposed by erosion of sedimentary rocks laid down from 13 to 65 million years ago.. How long will it take? Let’s call it fate that I was just drawn to the beauty of New Zealand. The process is similar to the way a natural pearl forms around a foreign particle within an oyster. This week, Kate and I went on a little adventure to explore all of these awesome places! Minerals began to precipitate around some nucleus, perhaps of an organic nature. In 2013, scientists found a Late Cretaceous shark vertebrae in an outcropping of boulders at Koutu. Scientists believe the boulders to be calcite concretions which were formed an estimated 65 million years ago. Each boulder weighs several tonnes and is up to two metres high.Scientists explain the boulders as calcite concretions formed about 65 million years ago. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. It may be that the Moeraki Boulders formed within sediment that was soft enough to allow mineral-rich water to flow through the muddy particles. Crescere, means ‘to grow,’ and con, means ‘together.’ Hence, the stones are giant balls of sediments that have grown together over time in a process of cementation. The biggest boulders weigh 7 tons and measure over 2 metres across. A more boring explanation (but not to the geologists!) Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. In geological terms that may well be true, but that means that the boulders are at least fifty six million years old. Image Credit Flickr User RossHuggett The cracked surface of this Moeraki Boulder creates a geometric or turtle-back design. MessageToEagle.com – The beach north of Moeraki on New Zealand’s South Island is strewn with large, near-spherical boulders with bizarre cracked shells. Maori legend refers to the Moeraki Boulders as the wreckage from a large Waka (sailing canoe) ?raiteuru. There are currently over 50 boulders on the beach, the largest weighing around 7 tons. Although I now live in Brisbane I was born in Dunedin & lived there for 70 years. Taking around 4 million years to form their current size. If she's not plunging down the SEO rabbit hole, she's visiting some ancient site in Italy, where she currently lives in the middle of an active caldera. Although the place is now protected, it continues to be plundered. We showcase some of the very best photos of the Moeraki Boulders and the surrounding area on our Photos page.. Maori legend tells that the boulders are remains of calabashes, kumaras and eel baskets that washed ashore after the legendary canoe, the Araiteuru was wrecked at nearby Shag Point (Matakaea). Post was not sent - check your email addresses! One layer at a time, the boulders grew larger over the years. This was one of the top items on my New Zealand bucketlist (fly around the world to look at weird rocks, go figure). Centuries of coastline erosion have revealed a spectacular view of these curiously large spherical boulders. It goes on to say that the ship’s commander has taken shape of a prominent rock nearby and the local mountains were given the names of those aboard. In geological terms that may well be true, but that means that the boulders are at least fifty six million years old. The underlaying sand of the boulders was slowly washed away by the wind and water moving the individual boulders towards the ocean. Accordingly, the Moeraki Boulders formation began on the ancient seafloor sediments 60 million years ago, during the early Tertiary period. The larger boulders are estimated to have formed over a period of 4 million years. What are the Moeraki Boulders? Technically you have to pay $2 per person to use that walkway. They range in size from about 1.5 meters to a little over 2 meters. Georgia Guidestones: Who Paid for It and Why? Erosion of the cliffs around Koekohe Beach, uncovered the boulders. Hundreds of these nodules, which had been washed out of the undermined clay cliffs by the encroachment of the sea, were scattered along the beach, as represented in the sketch, fig. As the sedimentary rock layers the boulders formed in are were eroded away, the harder, more resistant concretions were left behind. However, theories include: Interestingly, the large stones are hardest at their outermost layers which are comprised of roughly 20 percent calcite. Each may have started as a core of fossil shell, bone fragment, or piece of wood. Sexiness of Stink: Historical Attraction to Body Odor. The word ‘concretion’ comes from two Latin words. Stroll along the beach from Moeraki Boulders Scenic Reserve car park and picnic area. THEN, hurry over to catch sun set at the boulders. 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