Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 110: Mar-Apr 1997

Issue Contents

Other pages











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