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Scientists Solve the Mystery of Death Valley's Sliding Stones

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posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 12:29 AM
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These stones move at night but stay still during the day... or do they? No one has seen them move.

Racetrack Playa is the location of these sailing stones, and for decades, geologists have been trying to figure out what moves them across the sand. One of the first studies published in 1948 suggested they were moved by dust devils, and a more recent study proposed it was hurricane-force winds. However, only the most recent study has found a plausible solution that involves freezing ice.



This quick documentary summarizes the situation in about a minute.

So how is it done?


The Racetrack Playa must first fill with water — deep enough to float massive sheets of ice, yet still shallow enough to leave the rocks exposed. Nighttime temperatures must then get cold enough to freeze the water, forming mammoth-size ice panes — thin enough to glide across the lake bed, yet thick enough to gain momentum and clear the stones in their way.

As the next day’s afternoon sun thaws the ice, these sheets break apart into chunks that, with any luck, a steady wind will propel across the playa pool. When the ice chunks hit the rocks — ranging from pebble to boulder-size pieces weighing up to 200 pounds – the stones are driven across the soft mud below, leaving behind their signature trails.


Source - WP



It must take some force to move the stone this far.



Documentary featuring William Shatner.




posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 12:37 AM
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I don't know why this is in the news again.



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 12:38 AM
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I've always wondered why they don't put some cameras out there watching some of the stones with motion detection and some atmospheric equipment and so forth to monitor conditions. Then, once one of them started to move, the conditions are recorded and the rock is filmed moving visually.

You could just leave the stuff out there for a year with minimal upkeep and wait for results. Wouldn't cost much either. Maybe stick some GPS trackers on them too.

This seems like something that could be solved by now without much work involved and with the video evidence and other data to show what's happening.



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 01:04 AM
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When the ice chunks hit the rocks — ranging from pebble to boulder-size pieces weighing up to 200 pounds – the stones are driven across the soft mud below, leaving behind their signature trails.


Ok so how come a 200 pound ice chunk doesn't leave "signature trails" too, just the rocks huh



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 01:10 AM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
I've always wondered why they don't put some cameras out there watching some of the stones with motion detection and some atmospheric equipment and so forth to monitor conditions. Then, once one of them started to move, the conditions are recorded and the rock is filmed moving visually.

You could just leave the stuff out there for a year with minimal upkeep and wait for results. Wouldn't cost much either. Maybe stick some GPS trackers on them too.

This seems like something that could be solved by now without much work involved and with the video evidence and other data to show what's happening.


Well if you watched the video, you'll see the footage of them moving...

lol



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 01:15 AM
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originally posted by: sn0rch

Well if you watched the video, you'll see the footage of them moving...

lol


I watched the first video. The 2 min. one vs. the 45 min. one. Didn't want to wait that long. Why didn't they just put that in the 2 min. version then??? That one just talks about the guy using his freezer to simulate it.

Final Edit. They show a "Simulation" of the stones moving in an experiment using a wind tunnel at around 14min. into the doc for those interested. Still not footage of the Actual Stones moving in a Real World Example, but I'd say it solves it.
edit on 1-9-2014 by mOjOm because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 01:44 AM
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Already posted.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 02:36 AM
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Seems like a pretty huge process that for some reason no one in 70 years has been able to observe. This is just a hypothesis?



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 02:38 AM
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This has already been posted elsewhere, please leave your comments

here.

This thread is closed.



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