APRIMITIVEPLACE – Moeraki Boulders are a group of large, spherical boulders that lie along Koekohe Beach on the Otago coast of New Zealand. The boulders vary in shape and size, with an average diameter of about 1.5 meters. Some boulders are even as large as 3 meters in diameter.
Kaihinaki have become a popular tourist destination in New Zealand. Every year, millions of visitors come to the beach to see these unique boulders.
- Formation of Moeraki Boulders
Scientists believe that Kaihinaki formed about 65 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period. At that time, New Zealand was under the sea. The boulders formed through a process called concretion, which is the deposition of calcium carbonate minerals around an organic core, such as a shell or fossil.
Calcium carbonate concretion occurs when seawater containing calcium carbonate minerals flows through underlying rock layers. This seawater will carry the calcium carbonate minerals and deposit them around the organic core. This process takes millions of years, until the boulders are formed.
- Moeraki Boulders Legends
In addition to the scientific explanation, Moeraki Boulders also have an interesting legend. According to Maori legend, the boulders are gourds that washed ashore from a large canoe called Araiteuru. The canoe sailed from Tahiti and sank off the coast of New Zealand.
This legend explains the different shapes and sizes of Kaihinaki. The larger gourds are the ripe gourds, while the smaller gourds are the young gourds.
- Moeraki Boulders Today
Kaihinaki are currently protected as a nature reserve. The reserve is managed by the New Zealand Department of Conservation.
Some Moeraki Boulders have been damaged by erosion. However, most of the boulders are in good condition.
Kaihinaki are one of New Zealand’s unique natural phenomena. The boulders have become a popular tourist destination and a source of pride for the New Zealand people.