The 8th wonder of the world, known as the pink and white terraces of Lake Rotomahana, was an extremely popular attraction in the 19th century. Tourists from all around the world traveled to see these terraces and bathe in their springs. Sadly, after the 1886 volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera, the terraces were never to be found again. Many believed that the terraces were buried underneath the eruption and eventually destroyed. And just like that, the 8th wonder of the world supposedly vanished forever.
A recent discovery, however, proves that the beautiful white and pink terraces still exist, but are simply hidden under 50 feet of ash and mud.
Thanks to an old field book from a geologist named Ferdinand von Hochstetter, scientists were able to locate the approximate location of the 8th wonder in New Zealand. This discovery was published in the Journal Of The Royal Society of New Zealand with information on how the location of the terraces was found.
So what is this 8th wonder anyway?
The 8th wonder of the world are the pink and white silica terraces located near Lake Rotomahana in the North Island. They are a combination of rice field terraces and thermal pools. These terraces were formed when hot spring water cooled and the minerals inside the water were deposited at the edges of the pool. These minerals eventually created a barrier-like structure around the pool, which in turn created a terrace. More and more terraces were made every time hot spring water spilled out of the terraces and flowed to different locations, forming new banks of water that also became their own little terraces.
As for the white and pink colors of the terraces, they are caused by the minerals and bacterias thriving inside the springs. Another example of bacterias affecting the color of springs is Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring. Where you see rings of color, there are actually different bacteria, each group adapted to the conditions of their environments.
After the discovery of the approximate location for the 8th wonder, scientists are now waiting for the government’s approval to excavate the site and possibly revive one of the most amazing places in the world.