rocks (or maybe peculiar stones) are a few that when I was a boy I picked up at about between the half
and the low tide marks on the rocky part of Earlsferry's beach. These
strange rocks were
special to me as I've found nowhere other than the Earlsferry beach
where these came from. I have
shown them to others at rock exhibition shows but no one that I
talked to at these shows could shed any light as to what they are or how they came to
be where I found them.
every time that one or more of our family went looking for lobsters
at low tides we'd pick up a few as curiosities and use them to line
all of the pathways in the garden of our Earlsferry, home. These few I've always kept with me as another of my
treasures and as they were the smallest ones that I ever found and are ones that I could carry with me. Most of the many round
conical shaped ones that we found were several times
the size of these two with the large end about lawn bowling ball
only place that I could reason that they came from was that they
were volcanic bombs that were burped from the now topless volcano that we call Largo Law as
part of a volcanic eruption that happened maybe several million
years ago. Largo Law bears a remarkable similarity to the Mount
St. Helens volcano in the USA's State of Washington which I witnessed
as it blew its top on that Sunday morning in 1980.
is interesting and special about the cone shaped ones is that they all are
virtually the same conical shape as what NASA developed as
being the shape that a space capsule had to be to plunge from outer
space and survive the fiery reentry through the atmosphere.
other three rocks appear to be made of the same material as the cone shaped ones
except that although they are indigenous to the same exact debris
field as the conical ones they are flattish and with a strange pattern of
white honey comb like segmentation throughout.
mass all are dense and heavy and while I have tried to cut
into one by the use of carborundum grinding wheels, all that I
accomplished was the rapid wearing away of the grinding wheels. I am
convinced that the only way to cut into one would be by the
use of a diamond wheel.
someone who reads this will have another concept as to where these
rocks came from and how they came to be scattered on to Earlsferry's, tide out, lower beach.
The fifth of October 2014.
Maybe the mystery is solved.
Retired geologist David Bursill who
lives on the Isle of Skye writes,
just spent a most enjoyable hour reading your website. I am a
Geologist and Lapidary, I cut gemstones. Although I am now
retired and living in the Isle of Skye , I spent my youth and
middle years in Cambridge and was at The Department of Geology
and Sedgwick Museum for twenty two years.
I have come
across stones like your mysterious stones before at the Roslyn
Pit in Ely in the Fens. They are nothing to do with volcanoes
though, but are called Septarian Nodules. They are sedimentary
structures that formed on a sea floor and were formed when
organic matter, a fish perhaps, fell onto the sea floor and was
rapidly covered by sediment.
goo partially decomposed and formed a sort of membrane enclosing
the organic matter, because the goo inside was concentrated then
osmotic pressure forced sea water through the membrane causing
it to swell, when eventually the pressures equalised,
everything stopped and the normal sequence of fossilisation
A very small
piece of organic matter could make quite a big nodule, and I
have seen and collected them up to three feet across, and
weighing several hundred pounds ! The white veins are Calcite
and are formed during the fossilisation process.
Interestingly, the greatest number of these nodules are found in
Coal deposits and associated shales.
most interested in the Elie Rubies deposit you mention and will
certainly visit next year.