View Full Version : Any idea what this is?

05-26-2018, 08:00
I've come upon this while hiking the LT/AT - it's north of the spur trail leading to Spruce Peak, before you descend to 11/30. It's too structured to be a natural occurrence, but can't figure out what purpose it may have served. My overactive imagination pictures a pioneer sarcophagus, but I haven't heard of our founders having any Egyptian beliefs ... any input/ideas?




Time Zone
05-26-2018, 08:21
I don't think that would necessarily be considered unnatural in my home state of Tennessee. We have many interesting rock formations that have resulted from geological processes. Twin Arches at Big South Fork, the many "Mushroom Rock" formations along the Cumberland, and "benches" that look like what you have there. It happens. So before assuming human agency, consider alternative explanations and apply Ockham's Razor.

Of course, sometimes there really is human agency behind rock formations, like Stonehenge. [insert obligatory Spinal Tap reference here]

05-26-2018, 08:33
A rock with bedding plane fractures.

Odd Man Out
05-26-2018, 09:23
Interesting natural rock formation seems most likely, however there is a tradition of burying people under a large rock slab. This was done in colonial New England to protect a body from being dug up by wolves, especially when time or terrain did not allow digging a suitably deep grave. Since wolves were eradicated in NE by the mid 17th century, there are only a few examples from the very earliest graves. They are called wolf stones.


05-26-2018, 10:18
A rock with bedding plane fractures.


Totally natural, dislodged or deposited by a glacier.

Many thousands of rocks and rock formations around the world are given names because they resemble something else that we are familiar with.

monkey face rock, oregon

05-26-2018, 13:20
I’ll vote for an unusual, but naturally occurring stone formation. I could be wrong! Interesting post.

05-26-2018, 13:31
A rock with bedding plane fractures.^^^^^^^this...and freeze thaw spalling.

05-26-2018, 15:19
Sasquatch pit toilet with closed lid. Lid swivels to the left. ;)

05-26-2018, 15:40
Sasquatch pit toilet with closed lid. Lid swivels to the left. ;)

The real America's Stonehenge.

05-26-2018, 15:58
Sasquatch pit toilet with closed lid. Lid swivels to the left. ;)
But resist the urge to swivel it! :eek:

05-27-2018, 12:48
...and I was afraid this thread wouldn't be interesting and informative...

05-27-2018, 16:34
42781Walking North into Pearisburg, VA I saw this rock formation along the AT. It looked natural.

05-27-2018, 16:48
Steve, were there any markings on it, petroglyphs?

05-27-2018, 18:54
It could be a property boundary marker. Some markers I have seen are rubble piles, some are stones piled into shapes, some can be fairly intricate as this one might be.

05-27-2018, 22:46
It's a rock. Unusual, but just a rock.

05-28-2018, 06:20
Steve, were there any markings on it, petroglyphs?

No, no markings whatsoever ...

Appreciate all the responses; I can see where it's probably just an unusual rock formation, but I'd never seen anything quite like it before. And I think you have to admit, it IS rather unusual. If it were just a solid rock, no big deal - but between the shape and layering, it creates a different effect. As the saying goes, this isn't my first rodeo and I've done plenty of hiking throughout the Northeast as well as out West - this was pretty unique.

PS: Guessing it was a lady Sasquatch, the seat was left down ... ;-)


05-28-2018, 08:02
Stay there on Halloween night and you will find out.

05-28-2018, 13:04
Funny, many years back I was hiking the Catskills in the Echo Lake vicinity and a friend pointed out an unusual rock formation to me, which was slate piled in an incredibly uniform pattern. In fact it wasn't a natural formation but the remains of the corner of a building (hotel or associated structure) from back in the days when the Catskills were a popular resort destination for city folk.

Last Call
05-28-2018, 15:30
Looks like sandstone.

05-28-2018, 17:46
Then there is the "Giants thumb" on the AT in CT near Salisbury,

05-29-2018, 09:11
A rock with bedding plane fractures.

Yes, an apparently Offshore finished his geology courses much more recently than I, so could remember stuff like that.

05-29-2018, 18:06
Looks like a fine-grained sandstone with longitudinal ripple marks on a bedding plane, and partings (not fractures) along other bedding surfaces.
The structure of the Appalachians is such that sandstones tend to form the ridges, while shales and limestones form the valleys. So most of the rocks you find on ridges are sandstones, or quartzite rather since they are low-grade metamorphic rocks.

05-29-2018, 18:10
and I would say that it is very nearly in place as a natural outcrop. The capstone has moved slightly..