Rolling Rock Mystery Solved

There are many natural mysteries on this planet.  I remember reading about the strange “moving rocks” of Death Valley in National Geographic World magazine as a kid.  Patiently I waited for an answer to how these large boulders scooted across the desiccated desert floor, leaving distinctive trails in their wake.  Finally, the world has an answer!  James and Robert Morris, cousins and researchers solved the “sliding rock” riddle through diligence and a bit of luck.  According to their article in Nature, they analyzed their stop-motion photography of the suspect rocks and noticed that thin sheets of ice were forming under the boulders.  It was across these ephemeral ice formations that the rocks made their move.

Sailing rock in Death Valley

Image Credit: Thinkstock/BBC)

Read more at the BBC.


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