Image: Stuart Westmore
Beautiful rusty reds color the steep walls of Oxers Lookout
Composed mostly of banded iron formations, these remarkable rocks date back to the Precambrian period. During that time, there was much less oxygen in the atmosphere, and the only forms of life were bacteria rich with silica and algae. It’s believed the rocks were formed by a combination of blue-green algae and dissolved iron found in seawater, which created insoluble iron oxides. These oxide deposits then landed on the substrate where they spread out in thin layers, gradually becoming the banded iron rocks visible today. It’s amazing to think that these huge, solid formations are a product of something soft and slimy like algae.