How Does This Happen?
Many people had believed it was aliens from another planet that were trying to communicate with humans or to simply show us their presence. As decades of research continued, scientists were convinced that there must be a deep channel of wind that pushes the stones over the surface. Others believe that there a magnetic field was pulling the rocks.
It wasn’t till August 2014, when researchers Richard D. Norris alongside his cousin James M. Norris had discovered that it was indeed a random occurrence, but natural, nonetheless. In order to get to the bottom of the mystery, the two created the “Slithering Stones Research Initiative.” The project involved the placement of 15 stones with GPS tracking on the dry lakebed of Racetrack Playa. They had also placed a weather station in the area to monitor the difference in motion of the rocks and the weather.
They patiently discovered that this occurrence only happens during certain conditions in winter. When the temperature drops during the night, the lakebed freezes over and forms a thin level of ice. As the sun rises, the ice begins to melt and with the little help of the wind – the rocks are set in motion. They slide over the ice, leaving a trail of their journey and a lot of us confused.
Watching Them Slide
Their research further discovered that these rocks don’t slide in a low, sneaky fashion. In December of 2013, the cousins had caught the sliding rocks on camera for the very first time. These rocks were moving at 15 feet per minute! From December 20th till January 2014, these lucky scientists saw around 60 stones move around 700 ft! They had observed that there is a particular window for these events to take place. It requires certain conditions, where the ice sheet had just started melting in the late morning with winds going around 10 miles an hour. The world is a beautiful place with some weird quirky things. Imagine all the natural phenomena that have yet to be discovered!