Rocks, people seem to forget, are literally the ground beneath our feet. When was the last time you picked up a rock and thought where did you come from and how did you get here? Is its roundness caused by erosion? Was it originally a hot fiery syrup? Does it float? There are so many questions. A lot of people ask, “What’s so interesting about rocks?” but there has to be something interesting in 4.5 billion years of history.

Rocks can let you be a detective and an explorer, and you don’t have to go far to start your own geological adventures. In Hamilton, there are fossilised sea-shells that are millions of years old, despite it being about 60km from the nearest coast. I remember looking at a 30 metre cliff in the Australian outback about halfway between Birdsville and Adelaide when my friend said in awe, “…and to think that this entire area was deep underwater”. In the Werribee Gorge, just south-east of Ballarat, there are hundreds of tonnes of rocks that have literally been folded and over turned 300 million years ago.

Rocks have a lot to say about where they have been, whether volcanoes, earthquakes, or enormous floods… unless someone dropped it, a rock is likely there due to some geological process. So leave no stone unturned, a rock can tell you so much about itself and when it formed, if you’re willing to look.

Words by Dean DiQuinzio (FedUni Geology Society)