Featured image: Pumice raft, 13 August 2019. Detail from NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey , available at https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145490/a-raft-of-rock
Philip Jamieson and Mariannne Schmidt
On an early August 2020 walk along Newport Beach in northern Sydney, Marianne recently found littered on the sand numerous fragments of pumice. Pumice is a very porous, lightweight, frothy-looking volcanic glass which can drift gently with the currents, floating for years on the ocean surface before becoming waterlogged. It is not a common visitor to the sands of Newport Beach.
Photo by Marianne of pumice pieces that were abundant on Newport Beach
By ‘coincidence’, at the time of her pumice find, Marianne was preparing to deliver a range of children’s activities for Science Week. Its synchronistic theme – Deep Blue: innovations for the future of our oceans – with pumice featuring in several activities.
In a further synchronicity, shortly after, Philip visited Caloundra in Queensland, where the northern end of the 35km long channel named Pumicestone Passage opens to the ocean. The Passage was so named (though then thought a river) by Matthew Flinders at the end of the 18th century after he found abundant pieces of pumice on its shores. Walking along Kings Beach during his visit, Philip similarly found an abundance of small fragments of pumice lining the shore.
Photo by Philip showing some of the numerous small pieces of pumice abundant on Kings Beach
To our minds, these were fairly clear examples of Jung’s ‘meaningful coincidences’. So what was it about pumice that it had so evidently been brought to our attention? Continue reading “Pumice Raft or Life Raft?”