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Moeraki Boulders -3

By katieb      
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.

Thank you for stopping by


Tags: Beach New zealand South island Boulders Landscape and travel Moeraki boulders

Voters: JN_CHATELAIN_PHOTOGRAPHY, P_Thompson, Alda and 24 more

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almiles 8 38 102 United Kingdom
2 May 2013 10:19AM
Love the limited palette and moody sky. There's a great visual triangle going on between the boulder, the headland and then the bright area of sky to the right which I find keeps my eye moving about before resting again on the boulder. Your spiel about them is really intersting too thanks. I imagine there's a lot of milage in re-visiting this location repeatedly at different times of day and in different weather conditions. Superb!

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Richsr 11 91 223 England
2 May 2013 10:38AM
Like the early morning light and tones Kate, can see why you got wet looking at that incoming rain storm.

Regards Richard
Joline Plus
11 30 53 United States
2 May 2013 11:47AM
Such a surreal landscape. This one looks like it's from another world.
There has recently been a wonderful 4 part series on "Nature" about the formation of Australia and NZ and it's journey through time.
RLF Plus
8 18 4 United Kingdom
2 May 2013 12:34PM
Wonderful shot. They look man-made. Thanks for the information in the introduction.Grin
suvarc 8 India
2 May 2013 12:54PM
Nice Composition.
boov 5 2 United Kingdom
2 May 2013 3:41PM
Terrific shot
katieb Plus
13 255 4 United Kingdom
3 May 2013 3:37PM
A big thank you to Joline and John for your UA Smile

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