Scientists Rediscovered the Eighth Wonder of the World

Saturday, June 17, 2017 - 00:17

Scientists have found New Zealand's long-lost pink and white terraces which were buried by a volcanic eruption under layers of ash and mud after more than a century.

According to reports from Science Alert, once hailed as a natural wonder of the world, and the largest silica deposits of their kind on Earth, it was feared that these terraces were destroyed by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera.

"They became the greatest tourist attraction in the Southern Hemisphere and the British empire, and shiploads of tourists made the dangerous visit down from the UK, Europe, and America to see them," one of the team, Rex Bunn, told The Guardian.

The pink and white terraces of New Zealand were thought to be the largest silica 'sinter' deposits on the planet. It is thought that the pink hue found in some of the terraces was likely due to the presence of extensive colonies of a pigmented bacteria, such as Thermus ruber - relatives of the micro-organisms that inhabit the famously technicolour Morning Glory pool at Yellowstone.

Bunn, an independent researcher, and Nolden set about reconstructing von Hochstetter's lake map using a technique called forensic cartography, which involved comparing current topographic maps to the 1859 data, and matching up certain geological features until they had narrowed down the most likely location of the terraces.

The research has been published in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

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