Darwin crater

About Australia and Tasmania

The circular shape of the enclosures in the Tasmanian devil exhibit is no accident. It is a crater! It was created artificially, but is modelled on real life. It is the Darwin Crater in Tasmania, one of the places where Tasmanian devils live in the wild.

Darwin crater, Tasmania Darwin crater, Tasmania

Darwin Crater is a “pit” in the landscape that is more than a kilometre wide and two hundred metres deep. It probably originated after a meteorite impact about 700–800 thousand years ago. It can be found in Western Tasmania, and was only discovered in 1972, since it is very difficult to get to – the area is still almost untouched wilderness and as such is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. 


It is thought that the enormous heat caused by the meteorite’s impact melted the rocks and blew them into a wide area. Re-solidification gave rise to natural glass, known as Darwin glass. It is related to the Czech moldavites; they also arose after a meteorite impact. In their case, however, the impact occurred about 14.5 million years ago in the area of what is now Bavaria and the explosion that created them threw them all the way from Bavaria to south Bohemia and south Moravia.