Did you know that there is a floating ‘island’ of rock in the south pacific ocean? The world is full of awesome rocks and here are some amazing rock facts.
I was astounded when I came across the fact that the New Zealand navy found a pumice ‘island’ or raft floating in the ocean. That got me wondering what other cool rock facts there are. I did some research and now want to share some of the amazing and interesting facts that I found about rocks throughout the world and the Rocky Mountains.
10 Cool Rock Facts
The lightest rock is pumice, so light that it can float on water. There is a pumice island or raft floating on the ocean near Tonga. This happened after a volcanic eruption occurred in Tonga in 2006. Scientists are now hypothesizing that these pumice rafts may have been a way for plants and animals to move and colonize other areas of the world.
Most all fossils are discovered in sedimentary rocks, especially in rocks that were once underwater.
Geodes are dull balls of igneous or sedimentary rocks on the outside, but beautiful crystals on the inside. The coolest part of geodes is that you can go geode hunting near you! The hard part is guessing which rocks contain amazing crystals and which don’t. Do some research and you can find good areas to go geode hunting.
Researchers used some of the oldest rocks on the Earth along with meteorites to guess how old the Earth is. They estimate the Earth is about 4.54 billion years old! That is 4,540,000,000 years old.
A rock is a naturally occurring solid that is made up of one or more minerals. Read more about minerals here.
Shale is the most abundant sedimentary rock in the world. In fact, it makes up about 70 percent of all sedimentary rock in the Earth’s crust.
Sandstone is the second most abundant sedimentary rock. It is easily weathered and eroded by wind and water to create amazing rock formations such as arches and slot canyons.
Some special rocks form when magma cools in certain ways that create weird polygonal shapes. The shapes can be straight or bent. One great example of how these rocks formed naturally is Giant’s Causeway.
Basalt can be found on the Moon, Venus, and Mars. It also happens to be the most common rock on the Earth’s surface and makes up large parts of the oceans floor.
Of the three main kinds of rocks (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic), sedimentary is the most common and makes up the majority of rocks exposed on the Earth’s surface. Read about the rock cycle here.