Photo Friday: Pigeon Island’s Potential Glacial Erratic

Have you ever seen a massive rock in the middle of nowhere and wondered how it got there? There’s a chance ancient glaciers transported it and left it behind when it melted. Called glacial erratics, these stones can be carried for hundreds of miles and range from small pebbles to menacing boulders. Just off the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland, near the village of Tilting on Fogo Island, the small, cone-shaped Pigeon Island may be home to such a landform.

This Photo Friday, enjoy images from Bonnie McCay, an environmental anthropologist from Rutgers University, who has done extensive research on fishing communities in Newfoundland. McCay recently shared a few photos of this impressive rock formation on her personal social media account. This distinctive landmark located on a small island brushed by the Labrador Current is “either an erratic or a dropstone, though one Tilting native likes to joke that he rolled it up there years ago with a friend,” she said. Like similar stones across the world, this rock can provide hints to scientists about ancient glacier movements. Or at least it becomes a fun landmark for the local community.

Satellite image of Pigeon Island and Tilting, Newfoundland (Source: Google Earth).



Map of the northeast coast of Newfoundland and the location of Tilting and Pigeon Island, where McCay came across the formation (Source: Google Earth).










Image of the potential erratic or dropstone (Source: Bonnie McCay).


Another angle with beautiful Fogo Island in the background (Source: Bonnie McCay).


McCay posing in front of the unique stone (Source: Bonnie McCay).


Shot of the lush landscape once covered by glacial ice (Source: Bonnie McCay/Facebook).


A shot of some of the sheep who call the island home (Source: Bonnie McCay/Facebook).

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