Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rolling Rock

No, not the beer.

Irrelephant made an offhand comment on my last post about stones in the desert rolling by themselves, which I had never heard of, so I Googled and came up with these rather amazing images.

This is a real phenomenon in Death Valley. It is less well understood than the snow rollers of my last post. The explanation on the page where I found the pictures says "studies suggest a combination of 90mph winds, ice formations at night and thin layers of wet clay on the surface of the desert all help to push them along." The fact that the stones are rolling in different directions seems to pour some doubt on wind being much of a factor, but I'm no scientist.

Pretty cool, regardless. Sometimes it seems like nature is just fucking with us.

Thanks, Irr.


Wanderlust Scarlett said...


I certainly think your last sentiment is spot on.

There's so much we don't understand. Albert Einstein said, "We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.” and he was right. Of course.

Can you imagine all that we are totally unaware of that we couldn't understand if we WERE aware of it?

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Anonymous said...

Aliens among us.

ArtSparker said...

Makes the flesh creep.

Gordo said...

Three cheers for an inscrutable mystery! I love this stuff. :-)

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meno said...

Imagine coming across this in the desert and going WTF?

Laurita said...

This is why rolling stones don't gather moss - the roll in the desert.

Very cool, and also pretty freaky.

Clowncar said...

Scarlett, well put. We're too dumb to know how dumb we are.

Sabra. No. Fungus amung us. (I never tire of that joke)

It doesn't easily give way to explanation, Art. But I kinda like that.

Gordo, I figured you'd dig this kinda thing. Way weirder than snow rollers.

Anonymous, I am all about the personal photovoltaic panels. That you SO MUCH for thinking of me.

WTF inded, Meno. It's those trails that'd freak you out.

Laurita, it seems rolling stones gather only mystery.