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The 2017 Great Geobakeoff

Thursday, April 6, 2017 8:50
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(Before It's News)

Easter is just over a week away, which can only mean one thing…the return of the glorious Great Geobakeoff! Yes, the Great British Bakeoff may be no more, but its geological counterpart has refused all lucrative offers and elected to continue uninterrupted by commercial breaks.

It’s been three years since you first amazed, delighted and in some cases confused us with amazing interpretations of our 10 part challenge list of geological features. That means 30 – 30! – geobaking challenges have been so far successfully completed. We’re hoping you will rise to the challenge once again, with a brand new list….A risk list, no less.

The Risk Edition

Since the advent of the Geological Society’s themed years, it has become traditional to incorporate said theme into some of the geobakeoff challenges. Hence, 2015’s lahars, Mississippi mud pies and ‘freestyle showbiz mud round’ (that last one an initiative which, admittedly, didn’t exactly take off), and 2016’s unforgettable mosasaur emerging from a swimming pool showstopper.

As you may be aware, 2017 is our Year of Risk. Risk and cooking shouldn’t really go together, but if we could make the Year of Water work, we can do this too. We present to you, for the fourth glorious year…

 The Great Geobakeoff – the risk edition!

The usual rules apply – we will award points for each geobake completed successfully (or, at least with a valiant amount of effort.) Once again, prizes will be awarded in our new Tour de Bakeoff format…

The awards:

The White Apron – awarded to the best young baker. (Up to 18 years old – there is no minimum.)

The Green Apron – awarded to the accumulator of the most points! Each of the challenges have an escalating number of points attached to them. Go for the big numbers, or accumulate challenges – the choice is yours!

King/Queen of the Mountains – awarded to the most accurate representation of geological features. Can be won by completing any of the challenges – though some may offer more opportunities for demonstrating your geological construction skills than others….

The Yellow Apron – awarded to the best bake! Can be won for any of the ten challenges (though, let’s face it, it’s unlikely to be won by a 10 pointer…)

Along the way, there may also be individual ‘stage wins’ for each challenge, featuring some spot prizes. Basically, anything could happen.

Prizes and how to enter

To win the traditional unspecified goodie bag of prizes (for regular entrants, we’re throwing some new incentives into the mix this year!), the as yet undesigned but always surprising/unexpected geobakeoff trophy, and eternal glory in the geobakeoff hall of fame, please share your creations with us on twitter using #geobakeoff to @geolsoc, or email, in the full expectation that your pictures will be tweeted for you.

We would also love it if all tweeted images could also be emailed to Sarah as higher res files, where possible!

Entries must be received by midnight on Sunday 21 May.

The challenges

10 bonus points, as always, for inclusion in any one of your bakes of the GSL rock hammer usb hammer – we’re sticklers for tradition.

As a special Year of Risk addition, we will also award a special bonus prize for the winner of the most disastrous failure of a geobake, should there be one (which there of course will not be, but just in case…)

 10 points: The Broadchurch cliffs (aka East Cliff, West Bay, Dorset)

In honour of the return of Broadchurch (undeniably a risky place to live) for a third season, a variation on the traditional sandstone layer cake – nothing too fancy required, geobakers. That is, unless you’re feeling keen, in which case, do feel free to incorporate any of your favourite Broadchurch characters into the mix. Icing sugar David Tennants are more than welcome.

For more on the geology of Broadchurch, see Flo’s 2015 season two tie in blog post.

20 points: Horst and graben fault

We can’t quite believe we haven’t featured one of these before, so perfectly suited to the geobakeoff as it is. Feel free to go wild with colours, layers and any topographical details you fancy – or just keep it simple, in true 20 point challenge style.

30 points: The Lying Stones of Johann Beringer

The stars of our recent, oh-so-convincing April Fools post, Beringer’s ‘fossils’ present a wealth of possibilities to the geobaker. Pick any one, or produce an array of designs for an assortment of geology fakery (cakery?). Various googlings reveal the wide variety of options here – see here for just a few of them. And for more on the story of the tricksters, see here.

40 points: Yellowstone

A risky place for a few who don’t obey the signpostings – an even riskier place for us all if that supervolcano ever goes up, Yellowstone National Park presents a colourful, spectacular range of options for the intrepid geobaker. May we suggest the Grand Prismatic Spring (right)? Or you could go all out for the Yellowstone Grand Canyon. Or even a bison – the choice is yours…

50 points: The Door to Hell

That’s right: The Door to Hell. The Darvaza gas crater in Turkmenistan has been literally actually on fire since 1971, when geologists literally actually deliberately set it on fire, in an attempt to ‘burn off the gas.’ Clearly, there was slightly more gas there than they expected. We’re thinking cupcakes, or possibly some sort of Christmas pudding like brandy situation – up to you!

Inclusion of certified crazy person George Kourounis is optional.

60 points: Mordor

Continuing with our cheery Hell theme, Mordor is surely the riskiest place to be, in fiction or non fiction. There are so many options here – go for the traditional Mount Doom (allegedly inspired by Stromboli) volcano bake, or have a go at the teetering tower of Barad-dur – or why not go for the whole lot, mountain range and all?

Bonus points, obviously, for any associated hobbits/orcs/eagles of your choosing.

70 points: A geode

A geode?! we hear you cry. Much in the style of Sheldon Cooper on the phone to Stephen Hawking, perhaps. Yes, that’s right, A GEODE. We’re not totally sure how you’ll do this – alas we can’t give you sixth months to attempt this spectacular interpretation…

80 points: The Great Wave off Kanagawa

The Year of Water is behind us, but this woodblock Japanese print definitely depicts a risky situation. If you look closely, you can just make out an equally risky Mount Fuji in the background…

Again, we aren’t totally sure how this one will be achieved – both 3D and flat interpretations will be considered – we look forward to seeing the results!

90 points: The Natural History Museum’s new whale/The Natural History Museum’s former Dippy

A choice, for the penultimate challenge! Go nostalgic with Dippy, or embrace change with the impressive soon-to-be-installed whale, coming summer 2017. We love them both. We can’t decide. Choose for us! (Also feel free to represent either in life rather than in their skeletal forms, should you prefer.)

100 points: Petra

 For the first time, we’re going structural for the 100 point challenge! In the absence of a new Jurassic Park release, we’re going back to the classics for a fiendish Indiana Jones inspired challenge. Build it with biscuits, sculpt it in icing, grow it in crystals inside a chocolate geode – whatever your preferred method. And of course, feel free to feature camels/your favourite Indiana Jones scene as an added bonus (yes, he’s technically an archaeologist, but it’s close enough.)

And there you have it! Good luck, intrepid geobakers – we can’t wait to see what you come up with!


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