I have known about a very well documented mystery for some time that Many might be interested in.
In the famous area of the USA the Desert area of Death Valley, the racetrack basin, which is totally flat and almost totally dry:
Here where the highest temperatures recorded within the USA, stones, boulders and rocks some of which are of a size of a Human Being and weighing
several hundred pounds, Dance, slide or walk along the flat desert plain.
I prefer the term "walk" as the nature of any rock or stone would mean to me its walk would be very very slow and in small increments
Lena Fletcher and Anne Nester.Edu
Actively studied for 50 years, the rocks that mysteriously move around the dried lake bed playa in Death Valley, called the Racetrack, are yet to
have an unquestionable explanation for their movement.
These stones have been the subject to a host of scientific research, and various theories have been put forward, ranging from just the wind, or the
fact that in the cold desert night ice is sometimes found on the basin floor in a thin film.
This has been described as an cause by a tip of ice or a sail forming on the rock overnight. Then over time the wind catches this area on the
otherwise totally flat basin and moves the rocks as they are shown to.
The research done has included using GPS to an error of just 30cm.
Sometimes they dance in pairs too!
Now some of these rocks have over the years of research done by many respected organisations and researchers been shown to move up to a Maximum of
Think about that its 3/4 of a KM! this Lady is called Betsy, she leaves no trace on the bed floor, like some in the photo's and can be seen in person
Some of them have been observed as well to actually have climbed an gradient, raising up to 3 cm or more along there paths from the altitude where
they started their dance!
Despite years of interest and intermittent research investigations, no one has ever witnessed the rocks in motion. The mechanisms for these
unusual events have been hypothesized and in some cases tested, but never proven. Gravity must be ruled out, since the rocks are generally moving
slightly uphill (the northern section of the playa is a few centimeters higher than the southern end)
One of the most interesting mysteries of Death Valley National Park is the sliding rocks at Racetrack Playa (a playa is a dry lake bed). These
rocks can be found on the floor of the playa with long trails behind them. Somehow these rocks slide across the playa, cutting a furrow in the
sediment as they move.
Some of these rocks weigh several hundred pounds. That makes the question: "How do they move?" a very challenging one.
The truth: No one knows for sure exactly how these rocks move - although a few people have come up with some pretty good explanations. The reason why
their movement remains a mystery: No one has ever seen them in motion!
The Photos and further research of these can be found here courtesy of a dissertation done to collate all of the previous and quite substantial work
done by others by Paula Messina, shown in the Picture Above during here Dissertation:
The Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park, California: Physical
and Spatial Influences on Surface Processes
I personally find this fascinating for several reasons. When I first read about some time ago I thought that it would be effect gravity on the rocks,
when it does rain and them sliding on the muddy floor.
This is backed up by some research:
All sliding rock traces are ephemeral: the smallest ones may not survive a subsequent rainfall, while others produced by the most massive boulders
may last no longer than about seven years (Sharp and Carey, 1976). Hence, previous monitoring studies and limited-area maps generated may no longer
be valid. Movement appears to be episodic and linked to the occurrence of storms (Sharp and Carey, 1976; Reid et al., 1995). Major "rock slides"
are punctuated by stable periods, coinciding with dry conditions on the playa.
But the rocks that rise uphill have disproved this as the factor IMHO.
Maybe then Wind, with the possibility of ice as an catalyst for the motion. However the size of some of them precludes that from my acceptance.
I also find the evidence shown in the Photo's above where a pair of rocks seem to move, and one stays stationary, all of very similar size to defy
any rational explanation.
Wiki on the "Sailing" Stones
EF! Some Great photos Here Amazing!
A Wonderful Berkley Multimedia Show on This
Discuss and add your explanations and ideas please.