The Mysterious Sailing Stones of Death Valley

It is one big mystery that a stone that weighs more or less like a man can move on its own. This has become quite a puzzle for the past decade. The mysterious sailing stones of Death Valley have been discovered to slide over valleys that people do not live in. These valleys are filled with dry cracking muddy ground during summer and ice during winter. Many geologists have gone to all the places in Racetrack Playa and its surrounding.

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The mysterious sailing stones of Death Valley slide on very smooth ground and leave a trail behind. Some geologists came up with the conclusion that the mysterious sailing stones of death valley move through the smooth ground when the mud is wet and the stones have little ice droplets on them with the help of the wind. This is however not entirely true because the stones move during the summer when the temperature is too high and even dries the stones themselves.The mysterious sailing stones of Death Valley not only slide on smooth ground but dig and leave shallow track in their wake.

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The mysterious sailing stones of Death Valley are a magnificent phenomenon in the sense that they can take different turns around each other. This is mind challenging because the mysterious sailing stones of Death Valley start moving in a parallel direction.

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As the years proceed, each stone takes its own different path. Some stones make linear turns others make oval turns while others create a wavy shape on their tracks. No one has ever seen them move and nobody knows the speed they move with. The mysterious sailing stones of Death Valley turn while they are sliding through the flat leveled valley and this leaves different tracks behind them. Some stones move further than others over two to five years.

Via Izismile.

67 thoughts on “The Mysterious Sailing Stones of Death Valley”

  1. It has intricate beading, created with a rather Native American style. Not only are these sandals quite attractive, the way they are made will actually strengthen the legs and help to burn more calories when walking. The Avani sandals carry a retail price of around $45.

  2. First of all I would like to point out that it is absolutely asinine that no video exists of these rocks actually moving. Apparently we have the technological ability to put a rover on Mars but lack the ability to build a monitoring station that can watch the stones in real-time while recording, and simultaneously withstanding, the environmental conditions of the area. As an engineer I find this to be absolutely appalling. So much money has been spent researching this phenomenon, yet there are only hypotheses to show for the effort while the actual motive force remaining a mystery. This is absolutely unbelievable.

    Okay, with that rant out of the way, let us consider some possibilities. The ice flow hypothesis seems to be a possibility. Contrary to another poster’s assertion, the stones would leave a track since the ice would form around them, thus allowing the bottom of the stones to continue depressing the earth below the surface of the ice. However, and as noted by another poster, the stones appear to move during times when no ice is present, so the ice hypothesis does not offer a viable explanation for the apparent year-round movement, nor does it explain why some rocks move while other rocks that were in close proximity to one that moved remained motionless. Additionally, when you consider that an ice sheet would drag all trapped rocks in the same path, the ice hypothesis fails to explain why rocks that move concurrently can take different paths.

    Another hypothesis involves nothing more than water and exceptionally strong wind. With the playa softened by water, it would seem possible that the rocks could be pushed along by the wind. Of course this hypothesis is difficult to accept because it seemingly fails to explain why a larger rock may move while a smaller neighboring rock may remain completely motionless. Additionally, one would expect that if the wind were able to achieve a velocity sufficient to push a rock along the playa’s surface it should also cause some of them to tumble instead of always simply sliding along. All of this, however, can be explained by the fact that wind speed and direction across the playa may be highly varied, and, in fact, some of the rocks do indeed flip over. As for the larger rock moving while it’s smaller neighbor stands still, it may come down to math. The force exerted upon a rock by the wind will be directly proportional to the size and shape of the rock’s surface that the wind is pushing upon. A small rock, with a more aerodynamic shape, could conceivably remain still while a larger neighboring rock, with a larger and less aerodynamic shape, may move.

    Ultimately, this phenomenon should be monitored by a permanently placed, remotely monitored, scientific data acquisition station. If systems can be sufficiently hardened to withstand the launch into space, the landing upon another planet, and the environment of said planet, I think that we should be able to definitively answer the question of what the motive force behind the movement is and lay this mystery to rest once and for all. In fact, the monitoring station could even feed its data to a website so we can all watch the rocks and monitor the weather conditions on the playa in real-time.

    Now I would like to address Dr. Paula Messina directly (should she ever view this): 10+ years, and you still don’t know? That is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. An engineer could have solved this mystery in one year or less. You have studied this phenomenon longer than any other scientist. The only plausible explanation for your ineffectiveness as a scientist is the fact that if you solved the mystery your funding would go away and the camping trip would be over. Stop tracking the movement and setup a satellite-linked monitoring station. We get it, the rocks move. However, your failure to identify the motive force after over a decade of study only serves to help perpetuate the ignorance of people who think the motive force is generated by the gravity of the surrounding mountains, energy vortices, aliens, love, etc. Clearly the task of solving this mystery was more than a geologist could handle, even one with a Ph.D. You have had ample time to solve this mystery, and your credentials should have provided you with the necessary tools, allowed you to gain the necessary permission, even allowed you to recruit additional help from experts in the field of remote monitoring to do so. I am of the opinion that you have failed and are undeserving of your tenure.

  3. There’s no question that these rocks were brought to earth by the same aliens who brought the stone statues on Easter Island and Stonehenge.

  4. That ice theory, while it does make sense in that situation with smaller rocks, doesn’t account for:
    -Excessivly heavy rocks that can’t be lifted with a few inches of water.
    -Rocks that move when there has been no rain water.
    -Large depressions left in the ground from the movement of the rock.

    If water was the cause of the movement of rocks, then the depressions left behind wouldn’t remain jagged, they would be smoothed. Have you ever made a sand castle or something on the beach and watch it get hit with water when the tide comes in? The water flows over it and makes all the rough sand designs into smooth surfaces.

  5. this is just due to contraction…and expention….of the soil..beneath the stone…because the tempreture…of the soil under stone and near soil of stone is diffrent ..because..due to pequlier conditions of weather…due to this …the molecule..of soil..changes..its stat…

  6. vikas sharma (December 23rd 2010 @ 11:49am), evidently English is not your first language, but if you cannot spell or write it correctly then don’t bother; write in your first language.

    When you spout not only incorrectly spelled and grammatically incoherent non-words, but also nonsensical, factually incorrect pseudo-science, you reinforce the stereotype of persons from southern Asian descent as simple, bewildered ignorants.

    So how about thinking before you offer an opinion, to ensure it is correct – then you will benefit yourself, ensure the validity your opinion, impress others and help to rid the world of the stereotype that is oft used as a basis to justify racism by the actual ignorant folk.

    …And in case anyone is still in any doubt about the cause of the “sailing stones”:
    – The runoff from melted ice is blown by desert winds up the playa and covers the stones.
    – The waters then freeze due to overnight low temperatures, trapping the stones in an ice sheet.
    – This ice sheet is then blown by the strong desert wind and drags the stones with it, gouging the earth beneath it, creating the tracks.
    – The morning comes, the ice melts and the cycle begins again.

  7. if the movement is because of earth’s constant movement, there is something unusual that s on the very first picture, the one stone on your left side

  8. Nerj you no speeekee English well leave India come to a US college and start to think. Then give an answer that works!!!!

  9. Did anyone actually read the article? They CLEARLY stated that the ice hypothesis could not be because it happens in the summer time.

    That being said I agree with this guy;

    Thom BarschNo Gravatar Says:
    November 20th, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Probably a geological feature. I am guessing that the mud flats act like a bass speaker cone. Something causes it to vibrate and thus the rocks are moved along the surface. Death Valley is pretty narrow, the vibrations could be from thunder reverberating off the mountains back and forth across the valley. Easy way to find out, glue a tom tom to the top of a couple of them, and then analyze the data.

    As for you angel feathers guy… who said angels had wings besides Hollywood?

    Until I see some scientific DNA testing they are just white feathers…

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