Huge carpet of pumice stones floating in the PacificAugust 28, 2019 The volcanic rock carpet is heading for Australia
The rock carpet was discovered in August by sailors and covers an area of 150 square kilometers, which corresponds to a size of 20,000 football fields. The floating rock comes from a previously unknown underwater volcano off the island of Tonga. NASA satellite images show that the volcano erupted on 7 August 2019. Pumice stones are light, perforated rocks that float on the surface of the water and are created by the rapid cooling of magma. Why these rocks swim, you can read here.
Currently, the rock carpet is heading for Australia. Some experts hope that the pumice will become a new home for marine life. This could then benefit the world's largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, and help it to become even more biodiverse. However, there is also the danger that the floating stones will allow invasive species to enter the unique ecosystem.
The prerequisite is, of course, that the stone carpet at all maintains the route towards Australia. It will take more than half a year until the first pumice stones arrive there.