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  #1  
Old 18 November 2009, 05:44 PM
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Ponder Real-life rolling stones creep across Death Valley in California

This picture reveals a bizarre event that is rocking the science world the real-life rolling stones.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/ear...alifornia.html
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  #2  
Old 18 November 2009, 05:54 PM
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I've read about these several times. Everyone has a theory.

...has anyone ever stayed out here overnight to actually WITNESS this event?
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  #3  
Old 18 November 2009, 09:22 PM
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For years I have seen these pictures and wanted to see the playa in person. I go to DV every year, but never could find the time to take the 20+ mile journey down the dirt road to see them.

This past January, I bumped my way down (breaking my CD changer in the process!) that road. Pulling up to the playa on a beautiful morning, I was very disappointed by the lack of stones - I'd imagined so many more, and was rather disheartened. We walked out onto the playa, and the stones were bigger than they appeared from the road. As you stand in the playa and trace the tracks with your eyes, the twists, turns, crossings, abrupt 180 degree turns in the dead silence of the desert...I was astounded at their travels. What a remarkable place. The pictures are beautiful, but nothing beats seeing them in person.
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Old 18 November 2009, 11:00 PM
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And none of them had any moss on them, did they?

That is really cool, I've never heard of them before.
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  #5  
Old 19 November 2009, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
I was very disappointed by the lack of stones
It's kind of misleading - everybody stops near the middle of the playa, but the rocks are all down at the south end.

I went there quite a few times - I lived in Death Valley for five years. It seems like nobody has ever seen them move, they can go years at a time without moving. The current popular theory is that the surface of the water freezes around the rock, and then the wind pushes not just the rock, but the ice sheet in which the rocks are embedded - lots more surface area to catch the wind. It would just be the surface of the water that is frozen, maybe an inch thick (or less), while the water can be up to a foot deep.

And then there is the wind. I saw some serious winds out there.

I've got some amazing photos, but don't know how to post them here.

Some people also move or steal the rocks, which annoys me greatly.

It's been four years now - I gotta get back there again.
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Old 19 November 2009, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
abrupt 180 degree turns
How would you tell?

They're not exactly "rolling" rocks then, are they? The current theory is they are pushed by wind and move on ice sheets - that's more a glide than a roll.
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Old 20 November 2009, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
It's kind of misleading - everybody stops near the middle of the playa, but the rocks are all down at the south end.
Yes, the only ones on the north end are tiny!
Quote:
Some people also move or steal the rocks, which annoys me greatly.
Annoying is not a strong enough word. Why would you steal one - it's not going to do tricks on your bookshelf at home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by One-Fang View Post
How would you tell?

They're not exactly "rolling" rocks then, are they? The current theory is they are pushed by wind and move on ice sheets - that's more a glide than a roll.
Okay, so maybe it was 178 degrees...
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  #8  
Old 20 November 2009, 01:20 AM
purpleiguana purpleiguana is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
Okay, so maybe it was 178 degrees...
I think it was your use of the word "abrupt."
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  #9  
Old 20 November 2009, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purpleiguana View Post
I think it was your use of the word "abrupt."
While I can see that one interpretation of abrupt may mean "quickly", I was using it as "terminating or changing suddenly" in the context of a 20' straight line "abruptly" changing directions 180 (err....178) degrees. I thought the question was how could you tell if it turned back on itself 180, it would be in the same line. Of course, on further thought, you would be able to tell because of the furrows that are made, if the rock is 5' from the end of a furrow that it had, indeed, turned 180. Unless some asswipe picked it up and moved it, of course.

Sheesh, and here I originally typed out that the playa "spiritually moved" me, and erased it because I didn't want to get into a pedantic discussion about the word "spiritually"!
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  #10  
Old 20 November 2009, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
how could you tell if it turned back on itself 180, it would be in the same line.
They push mud ahead of themselves as well as to the sides., which would be another indication of direction.

Some people seem to think the stones have "power", and take them for that reason. Others are just idiots who think..., um..., well, I guess they don't think.

The other annoying thing is to walk or drive on the playa while it is wet - the tracks stay visible for years and years.

The best thing to do is to go there in the summer, at night. Take your shoes off and run around in the most amazing starlight you'll ever see. You can take off more than your shoes if you want, nobody is ever around. The playa is flat and smooth and a single layer of mud flakes up into little pieces that look like tiny corn flakes and they crumble into dust as you step on them. The only rocks are big enough to see so you won't stumble on them.

Then, just lay down and look at the stars, and the shooting stars, and in the first hour or two or darkness you can even see satellites.

I love that place....
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  #11  
Old 20 November 2009, 09:31 AM
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This is what rolled into someone's garden during a storm in Southern Sweden the other day: http://www.metro.se/2009/11/20/7141/...de-in-pa-kais/

There are loads of speculations as to what it is.
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Old 20 November 2009, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
This is what rolled into someone's garden during a storm in Southern Sweden the other day: http://www.metro.se/2009/11/20/7141/...de-in-pa-kais/

There are loads of speculations as to what it is.
Thor's testicle?

I can't read the article. Any estimation of how much it weighs?

It is clearly something man made - being how it's perfectly spherical. It looks like it might be made of bronze or similar (given the green colour) and be part of a sculpture.

Whatever it is, someone must be missing it.
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  #13  
Old 20 November 2009, 09:58 AM
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The most probable answer is a septic tank that someone has dug up and left lying around.
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  #14  
Old 20 November 2009, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
There are loads of speculations as to what it is.
Except that it's presumably made of concrete I'd have guessed it was a buoy - it seems to have a loop on top. Perhaps it's a demolition ball? His house had a narrow escape if so!

(eta) Ah, of course it can't be solid or it would be more deeply embedded in the earth. I can't read any of the description.
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  #15  
Old 20 November 2009, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Except that it's presumably made of concrete I'd have guessed it was a buoy - it seems to have a loop on top. Perhaps it's a demolition ball? His house had a narrow escape if so!

(eta) Ah, of course it can't be solid or it would be more deeply embedded in the earth. I can't read any of the description.
The owner has now contacted the man. It is indeed a septic tank that was supposed to have been burrowed in the ground, but had managed to escape.
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  #16  
Old 20 November 2009, 06:38 PM
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Bless you, Telegraph, and your quaint definition of 'rocking the scientific world'. Next astounding feature- a radical new thinker called Velikovsky!

I will let them off providing they do not dredge up that wretched Bible Code. (The Mail seemed to have an unshakeable love for that one.)
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