Scientists find Pink Terraces - NZ's lost 'eighth wonder of the world'

Natural wonder, thought destroyed in the eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886, is discovered on the floor of Rotorua's Lake Rotomahana (with VIDEO).

Scientists say they have found remains of the Pink Terraces at the bottom of Lake Rotomahana in the Rotorua region.

The discovery was made this week during a joint New Zealand and American project to map the lake floor and investigate the geothermal system (see GNS Science video below).

Side-scan sonar and bathymetric data collected by two underwater vehicles show crescent-shaped terraced structures in about 60 metres of water where the terraces were located prior to 1886, scientists revealed at a media conference this morning.

Underwater photos showed terrace edges and lake floor sediments.

The Pink and White Terraces - New Zealand's "eighth wonder of the world" and a global tourist attraction - were destroyed and vanished in the eruption of Mt Tarawera in June 1886.

Project leader Cornel de Ronde of GNS Science said scientists found no sign of the larger White Terraces in the part of the lake where they were located prior to 1886.

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