Solved: Mystery of Death Valley's "Sailing Stones"

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Scientists have now solved, through observation, the mystery of the "Sailing Stones" that travel across Death Valley's dry lakes.

Researchers observed thin sheets of ice prodding the boulders along. From UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography:

In a paper published in the journal PLOS ONE on Aug. 27, a team led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, paleobiologist Richard Norris reports on first-hand observations of the phenomenon.

Because the stones can sit for a decade or more without moving, the researchers did not originally expect to see motion in person. Instead, they decided to monitor the rocks remotely by installing a high-resolution weather station capable of measuring gusts to one-second intervals and fitting 15 rocks with custom-built, motion-activated GPS units. (The National Park Service would not let them use native rocks, so they brought in similar rocks from an outside source.) The experiment was set up in winter 2011 with permission of the Park Service. Then – in what Ralph Lorenz of the Applied Physics Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins University, one of the paper’s authors, suspected would be “the most boring experiment ever” – they waited for something to happen.

But in December 2013, Norris and co-author and cousin Jim Norris arrived in Death Valley to discover that the playa was covered with a pond of water seven centimeters (three inches) deep. Shortly after, the rocks began moving.

"Mystery Solved: “Sailing Stones” of Death Valley Seen in Action for the First Time"

Notable Replies

  1. Pffft. Right. Likely story. Another pathetic attempt by "scientists" to cover up the fact that Hollow Earth telekenetic savants are moving the stones in an attempt to warn us against Earth Changes and the coming of the False Sky Brothers.

  2. Brian Dunning of Skeptoid.com discovered it in 2002 and blogged about it in 2007. Here's the link: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4021

    I hope the scientists in the paper give him some credit.

  3. I didn't read the whole paper. Is it aliens?

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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