The Story Behind Pedra de Itapuca

In the nineteenth century ‘Pedra de Itapuca’ was depicted several times in an attempt to deny the gradual process of natural selection, contradicting Darwin’s ideas and claiming that the existence of fossils could be explained by a series of geological disasters in the history of Earth. Major disasters did exist, but biodiversity would always spring from the descendants of the species that survived, following the history of natural selection. The researches concerning the stone have resulted in poetic records of influential names, such as Jacques Burckhardt, Charles Hartt and, later on, Marc Ferrez. These studies have eventually led to the proof of the persistence of scientific accuracy in the various images of the “holed stone” (“Itapuca” in the Tupi language), located between the beaches of Icaraí and Flechas, in Niterói.