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 Photography Travel

The mushroom-shaped Kannesteinen Rock sculpted by the sea

Above the coast near Måløy, Norway exists one of the most elegant rocks you’ll ever see.

Known as the Kannesteinen Rock, the mushroom-shaped rock took thousands of years to be sculpted by the sea.

Strong westerly winds, ice, and strong waves shaped this natural wonder over time. As the waves crashed on the rock, they carved away the edges, making it look like a mushroom cloud.

The Norwegian locals, however, call the stone sculpture “kannestolen” (“stolen” means chair in Norwegian) because it resembles a one-legged chair.

The Kannesteinen Rock is quite famous, and it is not hard to see why. Although the location remains protected under Norwegian law, Instagrammers can still climb atop the rock during low tide and capture stunning photographs.

The Kannesteinen Rock is an example of how the Earth changes over time, and in this case, evolving into a more interesting and beautiful place.

Kannesteinen Rock
Kannesteinen Rock
Kannesteinen Rock
Nature Science Travel

The Wave in Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

The Wave is a sandstone rock located in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument on the Arizona and Utah borders.

The swirling formation combines water and wind eroded sandstone dunes calcified vertically and horizontally and fossilized over 190 million years.

Only 20 people are permitted to visit the natural wonder daily, which can only be reached by foot.


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)

Radiant Sodalite mineral rock

How neat is this sodalite mineral rock?

A rare discovery, sodalite rocks form from crystallized from sodium-rich magmas and are typically blue or violet in nature.

Think of the sodalite as a normal stone with special effects — a la tenebrescence — that make the minerals glow when exposed to light. Check out its cousin, the fire opal.