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No. 60: Nov-Dec 1988

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Another "cookie cutter" hole

Back in 1984, the American press had fun with the "cookie cutter" hole found in Washington state. A good-sized chunk of earth or "divot" had been neatly excised intact from the ground and deposited some 73 feet away. (see drawing.) One would think that nature would play only one such bizarre prank, but a remarkably similar occurrence also took place in 1887. A third example of this most curious phenomenon has been resurrected from one of the Middle Ages chronicles:

"822 A.D.: 'In the land of the Thuringians, near a river, a block of earth 50 ft. long, 14 ft. wide, and 1 ft. thick, was cut out, mysteriously lifted, and shifted 25 ft. from its original location.' Royal Frankish Annals."

(Carolingian Chronicles. W. Scholz, translator, Ann Arbor, 1972. Cr. E. Murphy)

Reference. Descriptions of several other "cookie-cutter" holes can be found at ETB7 in our catalog: Carolina Bays, Mima Mounds, which is described here.

'Cookie-cutter' hole phenomenon in Washington Plan view of the much-ballyhooed "Cookie-cutter" hole phenomenon in Washington state, 1984. (From: Carolina Bays, etc).

From Science Frontiers #60, NOV-DEC 1988. 1988-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987