Belgium-sized mass of pumice floating off coast of NZ

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PostFri Aug 10, 2012 7:30 pm » by Muchtyman

Belgium-sized mass of volcanic rocks floating off coast of New Zealand



WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A mass of small volcanic rocks nearly the size of Belgium has been discovered floating off the coast of New Zealand.

The stretch of golf-ball-size pumice rocks was first spotted this week by a New Zealand air force plane about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) northeast of Auckland. The rocks stretch for about 26,000 square kilometers (10,000 square miles).

A navy ship took scientists to the rocks Thursday night. Naval Lt. Tim Oscar says the rocks appeared a brilliant white under a spotlight, like a giant ice shelf.

He says it’s the “weirdest thing” he’s seen in 18 years at sea.

“The rock looked to be sitting two feet above the surface of the waves, and lit up a brilliant white colour in the spotlight. It looked exactly like the edge of an ice shelf,” he said, according to the New Zealand Herald. ... w-zealand/

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