Moeraki

Otago, New Zealand, Aug 2007: The Moeraki Boulders are large, spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach in North Otago, New Zealand. Scattered along the coast, either as clusters or isolated boulders, they have been protected within a scientific reserve. The most striking aspect of the boulders is their unusually large size and spherical shape, with a distinct bimodal size distribution. They look like gigantic primordial dinosaur or dragon’s eggs. The boulders are concretions created by the cementation of the Paleocene mudstone of the Moeraki Formation, from which they have been exhumed by coastal erosion. Local Māori legends explained the boulders as the remains of eel baskets and kumara washed ashore from the wreck of Arai-te-uru, a large sailing canoe. The legend says the rocky shoals are the petrified hull of this wreck and a nearby rocky promontory as being the body of the canoe’s captain.

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