Ringing Rocks, Pennsylvania

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The odd and the obscure have always fascinated me. As have mysteries. When I was younger, I fantasized about driving around the country in a van with close friends of mine solving mysteries like in “Scooby Doo,” but in our case, we would prove the mysteries to be true, or so I thought. It’s hard to be scared of by rocks, but rocks that ring for no reason is intriguing, and so on two separate occasions, I made my way with friends to this quiet corner of Southeastern Pennsylvania to experience the eerie sounds of ringing rocks, one of only a handful of places in the world where such phenomena exists.

The Ringing Rocks County Park in Upper Black Eddy, PA never seems that visited and it’s very easy to miss. There’s little else to note on the winding country roads in this part of the state, and the park itself is pretty tiny. There is a lush glenn with a waterfall to one side of it, but the main draw is a field of rocks and boulders between 7 and 8 acres in size. It’s an odd place to come upon as these rocks make up a large clearing in the middle of the woods, as if the woods couldn’t grow there for some reason. There’s still some greenery poking out of the rocks, but for the most part, it’s free of flora. The field is incredibly still.

It’s not an unnerving place, however. Indeed with a proper hammer, one can quickly send the quiet away. While some rocks will respond to a tapping with a normal, dull “thud,” many others will respond as if you have just rung a bell and at various tones and frequencies. In the past, people have even used the rocks to make concerts. You can even do this today. In fact, the sound that anyone hears is actually the interaction of several tones at frequencies lower than the human ear can pick up. No one has solved the mystery of why these rocks ring although there are several strong theories that suggest the internal stresses of the rocks.

It’s fun of course, to think of more outlandish mysteries from ghosts to Bigfoot, but it is exciting to experience a mystery that definitely does exist and goes against what you are accustomed to about the way things work. For a little bit, you are a child again, fascinated by a simple sound from a simple object in a nondescript place.  Maybe you can get a taste from this video another visitor recorded.

 

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