UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK

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discovery

UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK

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Newfoundland

Located on the upper half of the Bonavista Peninsula on the eastern coast of the island of Newfoundland, Discovery has a variety of sites where you can tour and learn about the Earth. Discovery is positioned along a series of highways aptly named the “Discovery Trail”, via Route 233 or 230. The geographic region is approximately 3 hours from both Gander and the Argentia ferry, and 3½ hours from the capital city of St. John’s.

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Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark’s coastal geology offers a unique opportunity to observe, study and celebrate one of the most significant transitions in Earth’s history: the Ediacaran Period and its associated rise of animal life. With rocks over half a billion years old, the Geopark is host to some of the most spectacular and exceptionally preserved Ediacaran fossils anywhere in the world. As a site of continuing scientific research, new discoveries are still being made, including the recent find of Haootia quadriformis, the first fossilized evidence of muscular tissue, and possibly the oldest animal fossil.

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The Bonavista Peninsula is dominated by its striking coastlines. The hiking trails within the Geopark give visitors remarkable vistas of a host of coastal formations, including caves, arches, and sea stacks. Through these stunning landscapes, active geomorphological processes can be viewed at the interface between land and sea. The Geopark also contains a varied history of glaciations. The earliest deposits formed during the last great ice age of the Precambrian, approximately 580 million years ago, while marine terraces and Quaternary deposits are evidence from the Last Glacial Maximum. Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the few places in the world where you can watch icebergs pass by, with the majority being carved off Western Greenland.

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