Rocks Old

“Before we go any further, a quick run-through of the humbling timeline of Earth’s salad days. Our planet forms 4.5 billion years ago. It’s all bubbly, molten and hot. And just as it starts to cool down 4.4 billion years ago, wham, it’s hit with something big, really big. The impact remelts most of the Earth and the debris from this crash, well, there’s our moon. Shortly thereafter the moon-forming impact, say in the 100–150 million year window, the Earth cools down again, an ocean forms, and O’Neil’s rocks were created, pink speckles and all. At 4.3 billion years of age, O’Neil’s brown basalt ousts the previous contender, the 4.03 billion year old Acasta gneiss formation in Canada’s Northwest Territories, from the ‘Earth’s Oldest Rock’ spotlight.”
 — The Last Word On Nothing’s Anne Casselman writes about geologist Jonathan O’Neil’s controversial claim to have discovered the the world’s oldest rock in Quebec’s Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt. Nuvvuagittuq spelled backwards is “Quttigauvvan.” Tangentially related: Scientists have pinpointed the source of the huge slabs of bluestone used to make Stonehenge to within 230 feet of an outcropping near the town of Pont Saeson in Western Wales. Now they just have to determine what kind of alien tractor beam or druidic magick transported the four-ton rocks the 240 miles to their spot outside Salisbury 2,500 years ago.