Beach stones with natural holes

Beach Stones with Holes at Whitstable

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The beach stones, pebbles and gravel accumulating between the wooden breakwaters along the Whitstable shoreline in Kent, are mostly flint with white chalk stones and brownish phosphatic nodules.

Lots of the beach stones have holes in them of various sizes and shapes and originating in different ways. Some stones have more than one type of hole in them. Sometimes with the flint pebbles there are very ancient holes made by the wearing away of softer inclusions including trace fossils and fossils that were embedded in the silica. See the thread on the Natural History Museum Nature Plus Forum.

For explanations and other examples of stones with holes in them that result from the activities of seashore creatures like burrowing bivalve molluscs, infesting marine worms, and sponges have a look at lots of previous posts on Jessica’s Nature Blog about pebbles with holes.

9 Replies to “Beach Stones with Holes at Whitstable”

  1. Thank you, Emma. People seem to be very curious about the way stones have holes in them. I first became interested in the subject when I was studying archaeological oyster shells which often have burrows and holes in them.


  2. I am not too sure. Do you mean the stones that are a very dark rust colour? The local geology is London Clay which has thin layers of carbonate concretions (‘cementstone nodules’) and disseminated pyrite. It is possible that the stones you refer to are cementstone nodules that have become stained by the iron from the pyrites. Sorry I can’t be more accurate.


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