Rocks That Won’t Sit Still

Sailing stones in the desert of Death Valley

Next time you happen to pass Death Valley, visit Racetrack Playa and see the famous and mystifying “sailing stones.” As you can see by the photo above, the stones leave plain tracks in the dried-out mud of the playa. (“Playa” is a dried-up lake or pond that sometimes fills when it rains. We had a nice one right next to our high school football field.)

What makes the stones “sail”? Well, no one has observed it happening, but time-lapse photography in 2014 suggested the stones were powered by a delicate balance of ice, water, and wind. A thin layer of ice sticks to the bottom of the stones–some of which weigh several hundred pounds–and when a stiff wind comes up, off they go. That’s the theory, anyway.

There’s also a theory that space aliens may be responsible. UFOs traverse the incalculable vastness of interstellar space to come here and push rocks around. I don’t think much of that theory.

8 comments on “Rocks That Won’t Sit Still

    1. (Should have been “it’s” — keyboard glitch, not illiteracy. Really. Or maybe the aliens were tinkering with the transmission.)

    2. Okay, so maybe our planet is just one stop on an interstellar shuffleboard course — like the different holes on a golf course. 🙂

  1. I’m good with the shuffleboard theory. It’s well known that aliens have overcome all of life’s challenges by accepting, unconditionally, all of the Far Left’s suggestions. As a result, They now have a lot of free time on their hands so they zoom around the Universe in their solar powered, ultra-green spacecraft, looking for rocks to push around. 🙂

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