Ringing Rocks Park
Want weird geology? Try a seven-acre field of boulders that ring like bells
Who can resist an open field of rocks, piled 10-feet high, which ring like bells when struck lightly with a hammer? Ringing Rocks, located in a lush, 120-acre Bucks County forest, is a powerful draw for geologists as well as hikers, walkers, bikers, backpackers and picnickers. Besides, the park also has Bucks County’s largest waterfall.
Perhaps it’s because very little grows here, except for lichen, but some locals point to supernatural reasons for the ringing. Scientists, however, admit they’re stumped.
Scientists have looked for reasons for the ringing, such as high background radiation, abnormal magnetic fields, or strange electromagnetic activity. But don’t worry! There aren’t any.
The rocks have a high content of iron and aluminum and are the same type that makes up most the earth’s crust.
In 1890, a leading geologist of the day collected rocks with different pitches and used them to play accompaniment to a local band – an event that locals claim as the first ever rock concert. More recently, local musicians have put together “jam” sessions on the rocks, striking them with various implements, including other rocks, sticks, hammers and railroad spikes.
All the rocks are made of the same material, yet only a third ring when struck. Rocks that ring are known as “live” rocks, and those that don’t are referred to as “dead” rocks.
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