23 July 2008, JellyBean @ 6:54 am

Near the village of Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania, in a heavily wooded area of gently rolling hills, is a startlingly open 5 acre field of large bare boulders. The area, known as Ringing Rocks Park, has been known as a strange place as far back as the first Native American settlers. Early European settlers in the 1700 also told stories of this place.

Apart from the boulders, it is also startling to notice the lack of life in the area. It is said that even birds avoid flying over the field and other wildlife take great pains not to enter it. Plant life from the surrounding forest just ends abruptly. To the more spiritual, it looks like a place that has been cursed.

But the field has one other unique and fascinating aspect – many of the boulders within the field ‘sing’ when they are hit with a hammer. Some of the boulders sound like deep gongs, yet others sound like chimes.

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Amazingly, the boulders in the surrounding woodland just give the usual ‘thud’ when hit. Only the ones within the field have this peculiar quality. According to visitors to the site, not all the rocks ‘sing’ when struck and you can not visually verify which will ring and which will not.

People have also reported that once you enter the field, compasses start spinning and electronic equipment go crazy.

According to the unmuseum, “In 1965 a geologist named Richard Faas from Lafayette College in nearby Easton, Pennsylvania, took a few of the rocks back to his lab for testing. He found that when the rocks were struck they created a series of tones at frequencies lower than the human ear can hear. Only because the tones interact with each other is a sound high pitched enough to be audible generated.

Though Faas’s experiments with the rocks explained the nature of the tones he was unable to figure out the specific physical mechanism in the rock that made them, though scientists suspect it has something to do with stress within the rocks.”

As with all unexplained things, there are many other theories on the cause of the ‘singing’. Some people have suggested that the rocks are in fact hollow, others have suggested that the field is a focal point of earth energy which affects the rocks and still others believe that it is a weird volcanic extrusion.

The park has not only been visited by scientists, artists and the curious, but has also been used by musicians and recording professionals to play whole compositions on selected rocks.

For all who visit, it seems that the chiming boulders do not fail to invoke a child-like awe

Ringing rocks are also known as sonorous rocks or lithophonic rocks, as used in musical instruments such as the lithophone.

To read an account of someone who conducted experiments at Ringing Rock Park, take a look at the following website:

The Ringing Rocks of Pennsylvania: A Musical Mystery along the Delaware

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