London, Aug 12 (IANS) A gigantic cluster of floating volcanic rocks, made up of lightweight pumice expelled from an underwater volcano and spread over 26,000 sq km, has been spotted drifting in the Pacific.
A New Zealand air force plane spotted the rocks Thursday about 1,000 km offshore from New Zealand and warned a navy warship in the area.
The weird phenomenon, which witnesses described as resembling a polar ice-shelf, was made up of lightweight pumice expelled from an underwater volcano, the New Zealand navy said.
Lieutenant Tim Oscar said while he knew his ship the HMNZS Canterbury was in no danger, it was still the weirdest thing he's seen in 18 years at sea, the Daily Mail reports.
As far ahead as I could observe was a raft of pumice moving up and down with the swell.
The rock looked to be sitting two foot above the surface of the waves and lit up a brilliant while colour in the spotlight. It looked exactly like the edge of an ice shelf, Oscar said.
Scientists aboard the ship said the pumice probably came from an underwater volcano called Monowai, which has been active recently.