thumbnail Punakaiki on South Island, New Zealand
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Punakaiki on South Island, New Zealand © Maurizio Rellini/Sime/eStock Photo
This portion of New Zealand"s South Island coast features plenty of strange geology. The Pancake Rocks, so named due to the stacked, flat layers of sediment and stone, were once underwater. As the Tasman Sea receded, the unusual rocks became the Punakaiki region"s shore. Erosion created openings along the cliffs called "blowholes." When the tide comes crashing in, water sprays up through the openings, and if you"re standing too close, you"ll get soaked.