Forget the secretive Pine Gap… Gnomesville in the Ferguson Valley SW Western Aus is more secretive and holds greater mystique in quiet places. It has a larger population and is the centre-point of ‘special powers’, those powers common to gnomes. The Man and I found out about Gnomesville quite unexpectedly, sitting over a lovely glass of something on one of those deliciously lazy social afternoons with friends.
Millions of years ago, when life emerged from the waves it was stromatalites and thrombolites that made it possible. They breathed oxygen into the atmosphere and life eventually moved onto the land once water had begun to fall from the heavens, nourishing the earth. 600 million years ago the ancestors of thrombolites and stromatolites produced the oxygen needed for life on land to exist and their ancient colonies can be found today in only a few rare places around the world.
They look like rocks but are really ancient forms of microbial communities that produce energy from sunlight. These ancient forms of life are found in specialized environments around the world. They require water to survive. Stromatalites need saline water and thrombolites require a greater measure of fresh water.