Eaglehawk Neck Tessellated Pavement - Eaglehawk Neck, Australia

The isthmus connecting the Tasman Peninsula to Tasmania is covered in a pattern of regular rectangular saltwater pools. Although these depressions look distinctly man made, they are in fact the result of a rare type of natural erosion.

Occurring near sea coasts on flat rock which has broken into regular blocks, the effect is known as “tessellated pavement” for its resemblance to Roman mosaic floors (also called tessellated pavement). The pavement takes two forms. Depressions are known as pan formations, occurring when saltwater wears away the center portion of the stones into pools. The opposite effect is known as a loaf formation, when the edges of the stone are worn away leaving a rounded crown resembling rising bread.

Tessellated pavement is extremely rare, found only in a few places on Earth.

Geek out on the geology of Eaglehawk Neck Tessellated Pavement on Atlas Obscura…