Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 110: Mar-Apr 1997

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Cracks In The Kaimanawa-wall Story?

It was bound to happen. The publicity accorded the Kaimanawa Wall by New Zealand newspapers (SF#107) stimulated the scientific community to take a close look at the controversial "wall." The New Zealand Department of Conservation asked geologist P. Wood for his assessment.

"He identified the rock as the 330,000-year-old Rangitaiki Ignimbrite. Following the line of blocks both horizontally and vertically, and photographing them in series, he revealed a system of joints and fractures natural to the cooling process in ignimbrite sheets. What Brailsford [see SF#107] had taken to be manmade cut, stacked blocks were no more than a type of natural rock formation."

P. Andrews, the author of this article likened the regular jointing of the "wall" to neatly hexagonal prisms seen in many basalt flows. He supplied two photographs of the "wall." One was like the photo in SF#107 and showed regular joints; the second, from the same outcrop, displayed angled fractures and joints that certainly do not look like the work of humans.

(Andrews, Philip; "New Zealand: Recent Ash, Ancient Wall," Geology Today, p. 136, July-August 1996. Cr. R.E. Molnar)

Comments. If we receive counter-arguments from proponents of the wall's artificiality, we will add them to this dossier.

A similar situation occurs with the more-famous Bimini "walls" or "roads." We have personally seen beach-rock deposits so regularly jointed that they seem man-made.

From Science Frontiers #110, MAR-APR 1997. 1997-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987