Scientists Solve the Mystery of Death Valley’s ‘Wandering Stones’

After 50 years, scientists have found the force behind a freaky phenomenon in Death Valley: rocks that seem to wander across the desert.


Researchers recently recorded the first observation of the rocks moving using GPS and time-lapsed cameras.

While scientists previously speculated that these “wandering stones” were aided by high wind, water or ice, they now have a more specific answer.

“In contrast with previous hypotheses of powerful winds or thick ice floating rocks off the playa surface, the process of rock movement that we have observed occurs when the thin, 3 to 6 mm, ‘windowpane’ ice sheet covering the playa pool begins to melt in late morning sun and breaks up under light winds of [about] 4–5 [meters per second],” the study authors wrote in the abstract published in the journal PLOS One. “Floating ice panels 10 s of meters in size push multiple rocks at low speeds of 2–5 m/min. along trajectories determined by the direction and velocity of the wind as well as that of the water flowing under the ice.”

Scientists were actually on hand to witness the rocks moving in December 2013, when they trekked out to the park to check the equipment. Nature reported that when they arrived, they found a pond covered with ice. After a few days, the ice began to melt…Slowly but surely, the moving ice pushed the rocks.

Pretty cool. I wonder how many other seemingly supernatural things actually have scientific explanations, and we just haven’t figured them out yet.

Also see:

Related Articles


American Muslim Leader Tells Obama to Stop Saying ISIS Has Nothing to Do With Islam (Video)

This guy took President Obama to the woodshed, verbally speaking: “Please, if anybody in this administration is listening, stop telling


Social Rot Los Angeles: LA School District Lawyers Argue 14 Yr Old Student Mature Enough to Have Sex with Teacher

                  Stock Photo Only Liberals are slowly sending out societal signals to De-stigmatize sex with children as “normal” adult behavior.


Black alumni group pushing NYC city officials to better prepare minority students for top high schools: But minority group not supposed to be better prepared

What this group doesn’t realize it that it is not in the best interests of the Democrat Party to have