Did you know that the Pink and White Terraces of New Zealand were once called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”? The Terraces were about 1,000 years old and formed from mineral deposits left behind by water from hydrothermal vents. In 1886, after a series of violent earthquakes, the 3 peaks of Mount Tarawera erupted, throwing ash, smoke, and molten rock about 6 miles into the air. After the eruption the site of the Pink and White Terraces was replaced by a crater 330 feet deep, which filled with water to become the new Lake Rotomanhana. Many thought that the Terraces were destroyed, but in 2011 scientists found the remnants of the Terraces, sunk 30-60 meters below the lake surface.
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The White Terrace had about 50 layers. It was about 25 meters high, 240 meters deep, and covered about 20 acres. The Pink Terrace was about 22 meters high, 100 meters deep and 100 meters wide.
During the eruption, a rift 11 miles long also opened.
150 people were killed in the eruption and many villages and settlements were destroyed.
The new Lake Rotomahana was ten times larger and deeper than the old lake.
Photographers took photos of the terrace, but unfortunately, they were in black and white and did not show the spectacular beauty of the formations. Visitors did sketch and paint the Terrace before they were destroyed.