Monday, September 29, 2008

We Can Has Oldest Rox Pls kthxbai

Hudson Bay is a historic and storied place in Canada (nowhere near us, regrettably), named after Canada's equivalent of Christopher Columbus, Henry Hudson. It is a gi-normous body of water, larger than all of the Great Lakes put together, and reaches from the Arctic Sea to the heart of eastern Canada. If you ever studied the Ice Age in your school, the Hudson Bay was the main source of the ice sheets that covered North America.

Well, the last Ice Age may be long gone and the ice season of Hudson Bay currently gets shorter every year, but there's a small upside to the change in climate; the undisturbed geology in the most northern parts of Hudson Bay has been found to contain what are, by far, the world's oldest rocks .

How old, you ask? Try 250 million years older than any previous discoveries. These rocks are 4.28 billion years old, and in all that time nobody ever tried to skip one across the bay! Amazing!! :)

What's exciting about this, of course, is that rocks often contain fossil records of plant or animal life, so our knowledge of the ancient Earth will soon expand. Although Australia still holds the record for the oldest things ever discovered (mineral grains called Zircons that are thought to be approximately 4.36B years old), Canada definitely has the monopoly on old rocks; the previous record-oldest rock was also found in Canada.

I guess this shouldn't be too surprising; if you've ever listened to the country's popular music stations, you know Canadians seem to be mostly made up of old rockers who listen to old rock. :)