Nature & Environment
Mass of volcanic rocks off New Zealand coast
By T.K. Randall
August 11, 2012 · 4 comments
Image Credit: Malene Thyssen
A large number of small volcanic rocks have covered an area the size of Belgium northeast of Auckland.
The unusual phenomenon is comprised of lightweight pumice rocks the size of golf balls, most likely expelled from an underwater volcano in the region. Resembling an ice shelf to the untrained eye, the rocks appear white under a spotlight and cover an area of 10,000 square miles.
Naval Lt. Tim Oscar who was on board a ship carrying scientists to investigate the spectacle declared that it was the "weirdest thing" he'd ever seen during his 18 years at sea.
The stretch of golf-ball-size pumice rocks was first spotted this week by a New Zealand air force plane about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) northeast of Auckland.
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