In front of the President Hotel in Sea Point a plaque informs passing pedestrians that this is the site of the Sea Point Contact. On the rocks below the notice board, when the tide is low, you can see swirls of light and dark rocks all mixed together. This is the contact point where, 540 million years ago, upwelling magma intruded into an existing sedimentary system of shales. With all the rocks above now eroded away and the contact exposed, it was recognised by geologists in the early 1800s - notably by a chap called Abel Clarke - and described in detail by the famous South African geologist Alexander du Toit. This contact point was important to science as it clearly demonstrates one of the processes that shapes our world. Charles Darwin was taken to this exact spot in 1856 when the Beagle docked in Cape Town - hence the local name of Darwin's Point.
1 year ago