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Sunday, 17 January 2010

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Signs 'n' Wonders:

Mysterious stones

Sometime back we featured a couple of articles about crop circles (flattened areas in cornfields which appear overnight) and the Nazca Plain in Peru, South America which resembles a huge writing pad with strange lines and shapes. Today we like to focus on yet another such mystery of the Earth.


Stonehenge


Aerial view of the Stonehenge circle of stones

Some of you may have read or heard about places where huge stones, some of which are strangely designed, are found placed in a certain pattern which makes absolutely no sense to us. In some instances, these stones are placed in a line and at others in circles. Then there are some that stand alone, like huge rock giants.

When examining these strange and mysterious stones found in various parts of the world, one of the places that takes prominence is Stonehenge, an ancient monument on Salisbury Plain in the South-West of England.

Believed to have been built around 3100-1100 BCE, this circular stone monument continues to fascinate both scientists and visitors to this site. Why and how it was built is indeed a great mystery. Was it a place of worship, a place to study the sun and astronomy, or a place of human sacrifice by ancient people, a UFO landing site or a place used by Druids (the ancient religion of Celtic Britain), are some of the questions asked when it comes to Stonehenge.

It is said that the remains of many stone circles built thousands of years ago are still found in various parts of England, but none stand out as much as Stonehenge.

At Stonehenge, there's said to be more than just the ring of great stone slabs remaining intact. Some claim that they experience feelings of strange powers at this place. So, what's this mysterious power at Stonehenge? Does it have anything to do with the kinds of stones used or their alignment?


Avebury Stone Circle


Stone balls of Costa Rica

Two types of stones have been used to build this ancient monument; blue stones and sarsen stones. The blue stones which weigh around four tons on average are believed to have been brought from about 240 miles away from the site, while the other Sensen stones which weigh about 25 tons and are as high as eight feet, are said to have come from about 20 miles away.

As could be seen in the pictures featured here, these stones have been set in an unusual design. According to experts on the subject, the circle of stones is aligned with the midsummer sunrise, midnight sunset and the most southern rising and northern setting of the moon.

This ring of stones no doubt was a special place to the ancient people and it will continue to be a special place for years to come because of the mystery and so-called unusual powers surrounding them.

Not far from Stonehenge lies yet another mysterious stone circle popularly known as the Avebury stone circle. Did you know that it is the largest stone circle in the world? This stone circle is 427 m in diameter and covers an area of about 28 acres. There are about 98 slabs of stones left in the circle today out of the total amount of slabs that were brought from several Kilometres away, to build this circle.

These stones are not smooth or dressed stone slabs like those found at Stonehenge, but they are also very huge like them. The slabs weigh about 40 tonnes each. Of these stone slabs, Swindon stone which weighs about 60 tonnes is said to be the largest.

There is also a stone called the Devil's Chair because it is shaped like a chair and many local myths are attached to this particular stone.

It is said that six hundred years ago some of the stones had been moved and one had fallen on a man, crushing him to death. The crushed skeleton had been found lying on a pair of scissors and since then this particular stone has been called the Barbar's Stone.


The famous Devilís Chair of Avebury

Like with Stonehogen, there are many theories as to how and why the Aveburry stone circle was built, even though all indications are that it was a major meeting place. What's intriguing is the so-called power experienced at this place too like at Stonehagen, especially after dark.

Well, as we explained earlier mysterious stones are found in many parts of the world, not just in England. So, let's examine some such stones found in America and other places.

Discovered way back in the 1930s, the round stones of Costa Rica, Central America are also fascinating. These stone balls, sculpted mostly from gabbro, the granite equivalent of basalt, had been found when clearing a jungle.

There had been thousands of these stones, buried in the jungle undergrowth. The stone balls which are referred to as Las Bolas by the people of the area, range from a few centimetres to over two metres in diameter and weigh as much as 16 tons. Experts say they may have been carved way back in 200 BC-1500 AD, but what's puzzling is from where the granite was obtained because it wasn't a freely available raw material.

Like in the case of Stonehagen and Aveburry no one knows why such stone balls were carved and also as to how they ended up buried in the jungle.

These stone balls left by the ancient people have experts going in circles wondering as to whether they were left from a lost city, brought there or rather rolled in for some ancient ceremony or sport or are a part of some big model of the stars and planet.

These mysterious stones found on our Planet continue to baffle scientists and archaeologists as there are no other clues discovered yet to unravel their mastery. There's only 'stone silence' about their origin and purpose so far.We'll bring you more interesting information about other such stone mysteries found in other parts of the world in the future.

Facts and Pix: Internet

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