Saturday, 30 August 2014


If yes then here's is a good news that it aint a mystery anymore.... 

If no then check this out !!!



Sailing stones





Moving death valley rocks traditionally called as "Sailing stones" or "sliding rocks"  and the list goes on. Coming to its history these
rocks move and inscribe long tracks along a smooth valley floor without human or animal intervention.

The stones move only every two or three years and most tracks develop over three or four years. Stones with rough bottoms leave straight groove tracks while those with smooth bottoms tend to wander. Stones sometimes turn over, exposing another edge to the ground. A solution to this mystery of why rocks move randomly across an isolated patch of California's Death Valley finally cracked on Thursday, when researchers published a study showing the driving force was sheets of wind-driven ice.

How is it solved... 

Paleobiologist Richard Norris of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who led the study, saw the rare phenomenon first-hand last December while standing with his cousin, engineer James Norris, at the spot.

Even though the stones can sit for a decade or more without moving, on certain occasions they move that results from an unusual combination of ice and wind in an area normally known for severe hot temperatures. 

That happens when the dry lake bed they are in freezes over with a thin layer of ice which then breaks apart in a light wind, sending large sheets of ice against the rocks with enough force to move them a few yards per minute, Norris said.

Because of the ability of the large ice sheets to catch the wind, and aided by the underlying flow of water, the rocks, which weigh as much as 700 pounds (318 kg), are pushed along in a way that could not occur from the force of the wind alone, he said.

A scientific theory dating back to the 1950s had suggested that thick ice and heavy winds could be behind the movement of the rocks, but the study published on Thursday found the ice is far thinner and the wind much lighter than first thought.

Popular theories for what drives the rocks have ranged from a sudden tilting of the Earth to the action of giant magnets under the surface of the ground.

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