Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Science Blog

Mystery of Death Valley's 'Sailing Stones' Solved

I've always been fascinated by the mysterious sailing stones of Death Valley and have followed any news about them.  Finally, thanks to science, we have a better understanding of what causes the phenomenon.

"For years, enormous stones have been moving across the Racetrack Playa of Death Valley National Park, leaving engraved trails in the muddy surface behind. No one understood how, though there was plenty of speculation, according to researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego. 

 Last year the researchers, Richard Norris and James Norris, placed stones equipped with GPS devices on the same stretch of land, then waited and watched."

"We recorded the first direct scientific observation of rock movements using GPS-instrumented rocks and photography, in conjunction with a weather station and time-lapse cameras," the authors wrote in a study published in the journal PLOS One. On Dec. 20, 2013, they witnessed 60 rocks move across the land."

GO HERE to see the video and learn more.

 h/t Infidel753 for THIS LINK that better explains the sailing stones phenomena.


Anonymous said...

re the leonard pitts quote. yeah this country is stupid...people try to pass laws so two people who love each other can't marry but there's no law against a kid barely out of diapers playing with a machine gun? USA! USA! USA! nunber one in stupidity! Eff the NRA!

Infidel753 said...

I love to see a good mystery solved. I don't think the ABC report quite explains it clearly, though. The key point is that the break-up of ice on the basin leaves thin, flat sheets of ice stuck to the rocks, and these sheets catch enough wind to make the rocks move, whereas the wind just blowing on the rocks themselves wouldn't be able to move them. Rosa Rubicondior had a good post about this recently.

Jerry Critter said...

I still think it is Aliens moving the stones. They are just pulling the old alien ice trick on the scientists.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anon, it is most assuredly crazy. We are a gun-besotted culture and don't see our own foolishness concerning gun ownership and use by children as young as 5 years old!

Infidel753, thanks for the link, it's been posted in today's blog post.

Shaw Kenawe said...

J.C., you may be right. I think I read that years ago in the Weekly World News.

okjimm said...

Sailing stoned? been there, done that. I was half masted.