October 13, 2016
With Halloween approaching, interest in the spooky and strange is on the rise. For Philly-area residents, that means it might be a perfect time to visit Ringing Rocks Park in Bucks County.
Located in Upper Black Eddy, the boulder field at Ringing Rocks Park is right up there with Stonehenge in England and the UFO Watchtower in Colorado in levels of apparent paranormal activity, according to the Travel Channel's recent "7 Supernatural Places Around the World."
Why? How about because a sea of rocks serves as a giant xylophone for park visitors? Per the Travel Channel:
Bring a hammer to Pennsylvania’s Ringing Rocks Park, so you can tap the rocks and boulders piled 10 feet high in this seven-acre field. Most of them will reward you with bell-like tones. Some think the sounds are supernatural, and scientists admit they’re still scratching their heads for an explanation. Although all the stones are made of the same stuff — primarily iron and hard minerals — only about a third of them vibrate and ring when struck.
The rocks' musical abilities can be seen in the video below:
Rocks that sing are certainly unusual, but not without any explanation. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Ringing Rocks Park is the result of a complex set of environmental conditions:
A general explanation is that a delicate and complex balance of factors and conditions including mineralogy, weathering properties, and micro-climate combines to produce a distinctly musical rock. As the outer rim of a boulder weathers, pyroxene minerals expand into clays, creating tension in the rock. Projecting boulders that are exposed in the sunshine away from the shade of the woods are among the ones that have developed a capacity to ring when struck.
Interested in seeing (and hearing) for yourself? Visitor information can be found on the official Bucks County website.