Moving Stones: Myths or Reality

Since 1933 visited by tourists Death Valley is a natural monument. The vast area is part of California National Park. After rains, the bottom of the mountain-surrounded terrain occasionally briefly turns into a swamp, but the water quickly evaporates.

Boulders Travelers

are known arrays changing location outside of human intervention. The most famous include:

  • Sin-Stone;
  • Turov Crosses;
  • Kaab Stone;
  • Stray Field in Kazakhstan;
  • Buddha Stone.

Drowned at the behest of Vasily Shuisky, the Sin-stone rose from the depths of Pleshcheev Lake and got to the shore after 70 years. The conquerors failed to drown the Kaab stone. From under the earth grew and buried under the Soviet power the Turov crosses.

The Buddha Stone ascends and descends from the mountain every 16 years without extraneous interference. Near Semipalatinsk on the Stray Field in winter, round boulders roll through the snow, sliding like a sledge.

Explanation of the phenomenon

In antiquity it was believed that the spirits living in them move boulders. Scientists began to search for a solution only in the 20th century. So far there are three hypotheses.

On one of them, the movement of arrays is caused by showers. Due to heavy rains, the clay surface of Death Valley becomes a wonderful rink for wind-driven boulders. However, there is no explanation as to how the wind can shift from place a stone weighing more than 200 kg.

It turned out to be baseless and the suggestion that a strong wind was pushing the cobblestones. According to the researchers, then wind speeds should exceed several tens of kilometers per minute.

In the last century there was a perception that the cause of movement was a magnetic field. Scientists said that the Valley is located in a special zone that affects all objects, forcing them to move. It was not possible to prove this idea either.


theory by which stones slide across the crust of ice formed beneath them during the cold season and contribute to sliding on wet clay is the most likely to be found.

Research continues

for the first time about the anomaly was told in 1915 by American artisan Joseph Crook. In 1948 the phenomenon was described in detail in the pages of the bulletin of the American Geological Society. In addition to the story about the terrain, movement and size of boulders, a map of the location of “living” hlybs was given. In 1952 in the magazine “Life” a picture of unusual objects taken by park attendant Louis G. Kirk with a study of the furrows they left behind.

Geologists Dwight Carey and Bob Sharp in 1972 decided to study experimentally how boulders move. Each of their chosen 30 objects received their name. Prospections continued for 7 years. Scientists have found out that movement is independent of the time of year and circumstances. It was impossible to detect neither systems nor patterns. Stones could roll over several tens of meters during the day or remain still for years.

Messina’s hypothesis in 1993 concerning separation into opposite streams of strong wind blowing in the valley, forcing to move stones located at different ends of the Valley of Death, did not help reveal the mystery of the plateau.

Scientists to this day are struck by the mystery of movement along the bottom of the dried Lake Reistrack Playa of numerous boulders. Interest is also the uncertainty of direction: unexpectedly sliding straight stone can roll sideways or roll over. Such turns are neither related to wind direction nor to the planet’s magnetic field.

This mystery attracts many lovers of the supernatural to Death Valley. It saddens tourists only that with their own eyes it was impossible to see movement in real time. It is equally striking that sometimes rocks simply disappear from the Earth’s surface, leaving only a trace on it.

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