Another from my dawn shoot at Koekohe Beach in the south Island of NZ of the famous Moeraki Boulders. Got a bit wet here - camera had its raincoat on though.
The Moeraki Boulders are huge spherical stones that are scattered over the sandy beaches, but they are not like ordinary round boulders that have been shaped by rivers and pounding seas. These boulders are classed as septarian concretions, and were formed in ancient sea floor sediments. They were created by a process similar to the formation of oyster pearls, where layers of material cover a central nucleus or core. For the oyster, this core is an irritating grain of sand. For the boulders, it was a fossil shell, bone fragment, or piece of wood. Lime minerals in the sea accumulated on the core over time, and the concretion grew into perfectly spherical shapes up to three metres in diameter.
The original mudstone seabed has since been uplifted to form coastal cliffs. Erosion of the cliffs has released the three tonne captive boulders, which now lie in a haphazard jumble across the beach, some can still be seen emerging from the cliffs. Further erosion in the atmosphere has exposed a network of veins, which gives the boulders the appearance of turtle shells. Similar boulders occur at Shag Point, and the nearby swimming beach of Katiki. In Hawke’s Bay in the North Island, scientists have found that the central core of similar boulders contained perfectly preserved skeletons of turtles, sea snails and extinct reptiles, such as plesiosaurs.
Maori legend refers to the Moeraki Boulders as the wreckage from a large Waka (sailing canoe) called Araiteuru, when it was wrecked on the coast over 1000 years ago. The boulders are said to be the fishing nets and calabashes that were washed ashore and then turned into stone.
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