Researchers may have rediscovered 'Eighth Wonder of the World' in New Zealand

Pink and White Terraces by Charles Blomfield

Made up of large mounds of silica deposits, the terraces were once a feature of the Lake Rotomahana region until a massive volcanic eruption at Mount Tarawera in 1886 purportedly changed the area's landscape forever.

"We would have put in 2500 hours of research in the last 12 months", one of the team, Rex Bunn, told the Sunday Star Times.

Charles Blomfield painted this picture of New Zealand's pink terraces using oil on canvas in 1886.

"But they [the terraces] were never surveyed by the government of the time, so there was no record of their latitude or longitude." he added.

These terraces are thought to have been walls or "crusts" made from sediment built up from mineral springs and geyser deposits.

It's thought that the pink hue found in some of the terraces was likely due to the presence of extensive colonies of a pigmented bacteria, such as Thermus ruber - relatives of the micro-organisms that inhabit the famously technicolour Morning Glory pool at Yellowstone. They have a hunch that the terraces are located about 32 to 49 feet below layers of mud and ash, thanks to those records, and are now advocating for a deep dig.

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Nolden, who had been curating a Hochstetter exhibition at the Auckland City Library, translated the diary from German.

But the researchers claim they have managed to locate the place where they were buried and suspect the eighth wonder of the world has been very well preserved by the Mother Nature itself. Pretty. You could have seen them for yourself if it wasn't for a pesky volcanic eruption in 1886 that destroyed them.

The diary belonged to 19th century geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter, who in 1859 was commissioned by the government of New Zealand to make a geological survey of the islands.

"We want to undertake this work in the public interest", Bunn told the Guardian. "We're closer than anyone has ever been in the last 130 years".

As a result of a long research process, scientists say they have developed an algorithm that allows them to identify the location of the pink and white terraces with a plus-minus 35-meter error margin. They also think that they could be restored and turned into a landmark again. "And I have been closely liaising with the ancestral owners of the land, the Tuhourangi Tribal Authority, and they are supportive and delighted with the work".

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