Another Romanian Mystery – Growing Stones

GrowingStonesAs if Vampires and tales of Dracula weren’t enough, Romania gives us yet another mysterious cryptid, but this time of the geological variety. Cryptozoology lovers may be interested to learn that in Romania, the stones grow. CryptoVille digs into this monster of a tale!

Romania’s mysterious growing stones were named Trovants back in 1905 in a scholarly paper written by naturalist Dr. G.M. Murgoci, formerly of the University of Bucharest. The stones are very oddly shaped and seem to be growing as the years progress. In some cases, they move, apparently on their own.

Trovants02Over the years science has cracked the code of how these rocks grow and why. It starts with the geological story of concretion and if you want all the details of that, see the Wiki link in my references section below.

For the sake of this article, we’ll describe it this way: Trovants all have a hard stone core which, over the years, picks up sand forming a sort of shell over the hard core. The key to all this is the formula in the stones and the surrounding sand and sandstone.

The sand and surrounding sandstone must be highly porous so that it can absorb the minerals in the rainwater. This water must then contain high levels of calcium carbonate which, as it dries, “cements” the sand together over the preceding layers of sand, under which is the hard core of stone.

Trovants03Scientists figure the stones grow about 1 cm (1/3 of an inch) every 100 years. Granted, it’s a slow process, but it sure makes for some funny looking stones!

They Move!

As if growing on their own isn’t unique enough, these stones also have a reputation for moving. It seems the same sand that can become cemented onto the stones’ surfaces also can become somewhat unstable during rainstorms, causing the stones to “float” over the surface into other positions. We’ve seen something similar happen over in the Death Valley region of the Mohave Desert in the US. You can see that article here:

http://visitcryptoville.com/2012/07/19/mystery-of-the-sailing-stones/

Other Peculiarities

Scientists have noticed these stones sometimes have extensions on them that look like roots, and when they cut into the stones they see what looks like age rings (similar to tree rings).  They’re still researching these phenomena.

Trovants04Trovants are almost always rounded in shape, forming spheres, nodules, and cylinders. They may not be asymmetrical, but they are interesting.

I was surprised to find that growing stones have been found in other places like Russia, Kazakhstan, and the Czech Republic.

Sometimes we’re so focused on the animal world that we don’t realize nature is full of surprises in so many other ways. Now we can add Trovants to our roster of Amazing Things in our fascinating world!

Til the next time!

References

http://whenonearth.net/trovants-growing-stones-romania/

http://bestofromania.eu/trovanti-museum-natural-reserve/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concretion

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