A Mysterious ‘Pants’ Arch in Nunavut, Canada has been the subject of much intrigue and disbelief since a photo of it surfaced on social media. The arch, called “Qarlinngua,” is a massive rock formation that stands tall and proud in a pool of saltwater on the north end of Baffin Island, in an uninhabited area of the Brodeur Peninsula. The formation has been described as resembling a pair of pants and is only reachable by boat during summer months.
When CBC North shared the photo on their Facebook page, many people dismissed it as a fake. Even some geologists, who are accustomed to studying rock formations, were skeptical. Linda Ham, the chief geologist with the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, said that the office in Iqaluit had never seen anything like it. The scientific name for the formation is a sea arch or natural arch, which is formed by wind and water eroding the cliff rocks over time, creating isolated sea arches.
The Qarlinngua is made of sedimentary rock, or sandstone, which is good erodible material. The portion of the arch still standing likely contains a large volume of quartz, which is resistant to erosion. The horizontal layers in the formation suggest that it is a Paleozoic rock, which is around 250 to 600 million years old.
The arch’s existence has been confirmed, and it is not a fake photo. However, it is located in such a remote and inaccessible location that few people have laid their eyes on it. According to Max Kalluk, the hunter who submitted the photo to CBC North, it is estimated to be over 50 meters tall. The arch is in an area where the land is sinking relative to the sea, and the sea is eroding into a nearby cliff whose coastline is slowly sinking.
Despite the skepticism surrounding the photo, the Qarlinngua has now become somewhat of a tourist attraction. The tourism office in Iqaluit has received inquiries about visiting the arch, and local tourism workers are hoping that its newfound fame will draw more visitors to the area. The Nunavut community of Arctic Bay is proud of their unique formation and has given it a name that reflects its appearance.
In conclusion, the Qarlinngua is a natural wonder that has mystified geologists and intrigued the public. Its existence has now been confirmed, and it is a rare and remarkable formation that highlights the geological wonders of Canada’s Arctic.