December 25, 2011

A Christmas Rock: Island Time!

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

Happy Newtonmas / Christmas to everyone!

To celebrate, here’s a very big Christmas rock– Christmas Island, which is located in the Indian Ocean south of Indonesia.

Christmas Island from Google Earth.

The island was dubbed “Christmas Island” by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company, who arrived at the island on Christmas Day, 25th December, 1643. Geologically, the island consists of basalt (originating from a submarine volcano) on which limestone (made primarily from coral and other marine critters) has developed. The island also has rich phosphorite deposits, which are believed to have formed as lagoonal (shallow, quiet water) sediments.

In addition to some interesting geology, Christmas Island also has some fantastic wildlife, including a unique and diverse bird population. There’s very few people on the island, and there are some gorgeous beaches. Sounds like an ideal vacation spot– maybe I’ll try to spend a Christmas there one day… although I imagine that must be a busy time of year for the island.