Nature Travel

The story behind geological oddity Split-Apple Rock, NZ

Split Apple Rock is a rock formation located in Tasman Bay off the northern coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

Shaped like an apple that’s been sliced in half or a giant Pacman (if you prefer), this geological wonder emerged as granite from the Cretaceous period 120 million years ago.

Split Apple Rock most likely got its odd shape due to the freezing and expansion of water through the cracks of the huge boulder during one of the Ice ages. It rests on top of a bed of other rocks.

The Maori name for the rock is Tokangawhā, which means “burst open rock.” According to Maori mythology, the boulder split as a result of two Maori gods fighting to own it. The rock broke in half to compromise.

The rock remains the most popular tourist attraction during treks at Abel Tasman National Park. Visitors can see it up close on a kayak or wade to it during low tide. Some go-getters even do the splits between the rock itself. But the rock is best viewed at the beach at sunset.

spilt apple rock new zealand
spilt apple rock new zealand
spilt apple rock new zealand
Nature Travel

The edge of the Earth: Australia’s Nullarbor Cliffs

What looks like the end of the Earth is really just the end of Australia.

The Bunda Cliffs of Nullarbor Plain, Southern Australia, form part of the longest uninterrupted line of coastal cliffs (62 miles long) in the world.

These limestone sea cliffs, which are 200 feet to 400 feet high, drop off into the Great Australian Bight, one of the most pristine ocean environments on Earth.

The cliffs also head 7 centimeters north every year, thanks to continental drift.

PS: The Bunda Cliffs are not to be used as evidence for flat Earth believers.


Behold a Rare Honeycomb Welo Opal

The things that Mother Nature produces will simply amaze.

This super rare Honeycomb Welo Opal from Welo province in northern Ethiopia looks like a dinosaur egg that’s about to hatch.

The splash of vibrant colors also makes it look like the opal contains a universe of some sort, especially the fiery bright color which gives the gem its due name.

Below is a stunning Mexican fire opal as captured by gemstone collector Jeff Schultz.

According to Geology, a fire opal “is a variety of opal that has a bright yellow, bright orange or bright red background color…Precious Opal is a name given to any opal that exhibits “play-of-color”, a flashing display of spectral colors when the opal is “played” under a light source.

Check out the Honeycomb Welo Opal and more opal varieties from around the world after the jump.

Another Ethiopian welo opal (Photo: TW/RDianLove)
Opal from Queensland, Australia (Photo: TW/Havenlust)
Cantera opal from Sinaloa, Mexico
Cantera opal from Sinaloa, Mexico (Photo: TW/@western_opals)
Ethiopian Opal Geode (Photo: TW/welcometonature)
Rainbow ContraLuz Ethiopian Welo Polished Opal (Photo: TW/opalactions)
Nature Science

The Dragon’s Eye Stone Mine in the UK

What looks like a scene out of Indiana Jones or a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, the Dragon’s eye stone mine was discovered at the Hall of Giants stone mine in Lancashire UK.

The underground adventurers who discovered the mine in Northern England took the picture using a fisheye lens — the surface is actually flat rather than curved.

The dragon’s eye formed as a result of a collapsed mine roof that exposed different color sediments.

We can’t be the only ones just waiting for the stone to blink.

Photo: Twitter/@evrthangel
The Dragon’s Eye Stone Mine in the UK
Photo: YouTube/Underground Explorers C9C