Some of the earliest life on Earth dates back 3.5 million years, and
fossilised stromatolites in ancient rocks are evidence of primitive
blue-green algae. Descendants of these ancient life forms can still be
seen today in places like the shallow, sunlit waters of Shark Bay in
Western Australia. Evaporation makes the water there too salty for snails
and other marine creatures that would eat the blue-green algae, so they
thrive and grow, trapping sediment and forming the large rocky lumps known
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