While Kettle Point, on Lake Huron, is the most famous Kettle Stone site in Ontario, the Sydenham River is also home to extremely rare geologic stone formations. Kettles got their name because they look like the bottom of a large kettle pot. They were formed millions of years ago when southern Ontario was covered by a deep, saltwater sea.
Kettle stones are interesting and come in all sorts of shapes. At one time, people thought they were plant fossils, dinosaur eggs, even extra-terrestrial debris.
By studying the chemical and physical make-up of the kettle stones, scientists have determined how they are made. These kettle stones were formed from the soft mud at the bottom of the sea. Bacteria, feeding on organic material in the mud, caused a chemical reaction that created calcite crystals (calcite is the main ingredient in limestone). The crystals grew from the centre out in all directions, creating a ball. Pressure from the rocks overtop of the mud helped form the crystals into rock. This rock is the kettle stone, and they range from 30cm to 1.5 metres in diameter. Kettle stones are also found in Manitoba and Australia and they are very rare.
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