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Balancing Rocks

Balancing Rocks

Volcanic rocks I balanced at Jökulsárlón, Iceland

It seems impossible if you just look at it. This is one of those little miracles of physics that plays tricks on the brain. Part of the innate beauty of this art form comes from a seeming dichotomy that is bridged. On the one hand, the structures seem so blatantly fragile and ready-to-tip. Many times they look like they should not be standing upright. But on the other hand, they stand so perfectly stalwart and stationary that they also appear as a singlular solid object that simply will not fall.

When I was in high school I had the strange thought “I wonder if people can balance rocks?” This was immediately followed by the thought “probably not.” But a quick internet search left me amazed and still a little incredulous. So I immediately went out into the woods to find some rocks and give it a go myself. And it turns out, like with so many other things, just giving it a go was the key to making the impossible possible.

I often reflect on how many parts of life are like a balancing-stone sculpture: difficult, fragile, and easily toppled. But because of these things, unspeakably beautiful.


by Stuart Ryerse
May 5, 2020