The eighth wonder of the world may have been rediscovered by scientists recently after having disappeared 131 years ago.
The Pink and White Terraces of New Zealand, sometimes referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, were natural cascading pools that descended into a lake before a volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera on June 10, 1886, buried them.
Once a popular tourist destination, the 2,000-acre lake was never officially surveyed, and the exact location of the terraces was lost. Scientists now believe they have found them buried under ash and mud.
Researchers Rex Bunn and Sascha Nolden used the field diaries of the German-Austrian geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter to locate the likely place where the terraces are buried, The Guardian reported. A full archaeological site investigation may determine whether the terraces, buried 30 to 40 feet beneath the surface, can be excavated and restored.
The Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand published their research paper.
The Pink and White Terraces of New Zealand were thought to be the largest silica deposits of their kind on Earth, according to Science Alert.
Using forensic cartography comparing current maps to data from von Hochstetter's diaries, Bunn and Nolden recreated the lake map, narrowing in on the most likely location of the terraces.
"We would have put in 2,500 hours of research in the last 12 months. We're confident, to the best of our ability, we have identified the terrace locations," Bunn told Hannah Martin of the Sunday Star Times.
The recent discovery comes after scientists at the University of Waikato believed they had found the terraces in the lake. But those claims were dismissed by GNS Science, which concluded that the terraces had been destroyed, according to Martin.
The local Tuhourangi tribal authority will determine what happens next.
"The Pink and White Terraces may in some small way return, to delight visitors to Rotorua as they did in the nineteenth century," Bunn told Martin.
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