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Moeraki Boulders, Koekohe Beach, Otago coast, New Zealand

Moeraki Boulders, Koekohe Beach, Otago Coast, New Zealand

Local Māori legends explained the boulders as the remains eel baskets, calabashes, and kumara washed ashore from the wreck an Arai-te-uru, a large sailing canoe. This legend tells the rocky shoals that extend seaward from Shag Point as being the petrified hull this wreck and a nearby rocky promontory as being the body the canoe's captain. In 1848 W.B.D. Mantell sketched the beach and its boulders, more numerous than now. The picture is now in the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington. The boulders were described in 1850 colonial reports and numerous popular articles since that time. In more recent times they have become a popular tourist attraction, ten described and pictured in numerous web pages and tourist guides.
The most striking aspect the boulders is their unusually large size and highly spherical shape, with a distinct bimodal size distribution. About one-third the boulders range in size from about 0.5 to 1.0 metres (1.5 to 3 ft) in diameter, the other two-thirds from 1.5 to 2.2 metres (4.6 to 6.7 ft), the majority being nearly to almost perfectly spherical. A minority them are not spherical, being slightly elongated parallel to the bedding the mudstone that once enclosed them.
Neither the spherical to subspherical shape or large size the Moeraki Boulders is unique to them. Virtually identical spherical boulders, called "Koutu Boulders", are found on the beaches, in the cliffs, and beneath the surface inland the shore Hokianga Harbour, North Island, New Zealand, between Koutu and Kauwhare points. Like the Moeraki Boulders, nearly perfectly spherical Koutu Boulders are as large as 3 metres (9 ft) in diameter.

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Date added:Sep 30, 2010
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