Muzeul Trovantilor, the natural reserve of

Muzeul Trovantilor, the natural reserve of "living stones"

Muzeul Trovan?ilor,Romania

Muzeul Trovantilor, the natural reserve of

Muzeul Trovantilor, run by the Kogayon association, is a nature reserve transformed into an open-air museum. It is a protected area with an incredible number of "Living Stones", unique and mysterious rocks capable of growing, moving and even "reproducing". They are called Trovant, a geological term that translated from the Romanian language means "cemented sand". The site has become part of the Unesco World Heritage Site and is located in the Costesti valley in Romania, exactly about 21 miles from Ramnicu Valcea.

Studies carried out on the stones revealed that they probably began forming about 6 million years ago, following a violent seismic activity. The increase in volume occurs when the boulders come into contact with water, transforming what were once small pebbles into real boulders that today reach dimensions of 6 and 10 meters in diameter. Trovants are composed of a high concentration of mineral salts which absorb rainwater and undergo an increase in internal pressure generating their expansion. This reaction, similar to that which occurs in plants, still leaves scientists without a logical explanation, especially due to the presence of a series of concentric circles that resemble those of tree trunks.

The ability to move rocks is instead caused by the random increase in the volume on one side, a swelling that allows the boulders to tilt and change position. Although evolution consists of a few centimeters at a time, over a period of time of up to a thousand years, some fragments of rock always manage to detach from the matrix and roll away, thus giving life to a new little trovant.
These enigmatic stones can be found in other places in the world, but Romania, in addition to retaining the highest concentration, still has the most extraordinary shapes and sizes.

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