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No. 60: Nov-Dec 1988

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Mysterious Stone Rings

After worrying so much above about possible scientific blunders, it is pleasant to relax with a minor geological (perhaps "archeological") anomaly.

In Green Ridge State Forest, in Western Maryland, are found 150-200 annular piles of sandstone rocks. All lie on the western slope of Polish Mountain. No one seems to have a good explanation of their origin. Archeological digs have not unearthed any human artifacts. From a photograph of one ring, we estimate an outer diameter of 15 feet, and an inner hole 5 feet in diameter. The height of the rock ring is perhaps 2 feet. The sandstone rocks are generally slab-like. A popular theory states that the rocks were piled up to protect apple trees.

(Anonymous; "Rings of Stone Pose Mystery in Md.," Washington Post, June 26, 1988. Cr. J. Judge.)

Comment. We have classified this item under GEOLOGY because these rings could be periglacial phenomena; that is akin to patterned ground. Periglacial structures are occasionally found in the Appalachians.

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