Balancing rocks

A BALANCING ROCK is a naturally-occurring geological formation featuring a large rock or boulder, sometimes of substantial size, resting on other rocks that often look precariously balanced.  In reality, these rocks appear to be balancing but are, in fact, firmly connected to a base rock by a pedestal or stem.
Here are a few of the “Balancing Rocks” :


(1) KRISHNA’S BUTTER BALL :  This is a curious tourist attraction in Mahabalipuram, a town about 60km south of Chennai, that is famous for its stone carvings.  The “Butterball” is a giant balancing rock, and is 5 metres in diameter, perched on a smooth slope, seemingly defying all laws of physics.  The rock’s awkward position makes it quite popular with locals and tourists alike as it makes for an interesting backdrop for some whacky photographer  It is a common sight to see visitors placing their hands under the rock and posing for pictures, and that looks as though they are holding it up. The rock provides welcome shade if you dare to sit underneath it, and the local children have discovered that the slippery nearby hillside also makes a great “natural slide”.

balancing rock Utah

(2) BALANCING ROCK, Utah, is one of the most popular features of ARCHES NATIONAL PARK.  It is located next to the park’s main road, at about 9miles from the park’s entrance.  The total height of Balancing Rock is about 39metres, with the Balancing Rock rising 16.75m above the base.  The big rock on top is the size of 3 school buses.  Until recently, Balancing Rock had a companion —– a similar, but much smaller “balance rock”, named “Chip Off The Old Block”, which fell during the winter of 1975 — 1976.

Balancing rock Digby

(3) BALANCING ROCK, Digby, Nova Scotia : This Balancing Rock is in Saint Mary’s Bay on Long Island, and seems to defy gravity as it stands on its end at the edge of the rock below.  The metres high column of rock is attached by 2 small sections with a gap that you can look through.

Idol rock Brimham

(4) IDOL ROCK, Brimham Moor :  Many curious rock formations are scattered over 50acres on Brimham Moor.  One of them is the Idol Rock, precariously balanced on top of a smaller rock.  The rocks eroded by water, glaciation and wind, have taken amazing shapes.  Many of the formations suggest all manner of things, including elephants, hippos, bears and mushrooms.


(5) MUSHROOM ROCK, Kansas :  Located in the Smoky Hills region of Kansas, this rock was formed through a process of non-uniform erosion and weathering, in which a hard mass of Dakota Sandstone resisted erosion while the underlying softer stone weathered away, forming a “mushroom” shape.  There are 2 “mushrooms” and a giant “shoe rock” as well.

CHIREMBA Balancing Rocks

(6) CHIREMBA Balancing Rocks, Zimbabwe : They are located 13km southeast of Harare, in Epworth.  Although strange balancing rocks are found all over Zimbabwe, this particular one became famous after being featured in Zimbabwean currency.  The balancing rocks have been used as a metaphorical theme to explain the importance of development coupled with preserving the fragile environment of Zimbabwe as similar to that of the Balancing Rocks found in Epworth, Matopos and in other areas.

Mexican hat rock Utah

(7) MEXICAN HAT, Utah, is located on Highway163, 24miles west of Bluff, in Utah.  The name MEXICAN HAT comes from a curiously “sombrero-shaped”, 60ft wide by 12ft thick rock out-cropping on the northeast of town.

Devils marbles

(8) DEVILS MARBLES, Australia, are amongst the most famous Australian rocks, located south of Tennant Creek.  These huge, red, rounded granite boulders vary in size, from 50cm up to 6metres across, and they are strewn across a large area.  Many of them seem impossibly balanced on top of each other.

kjeragbolten Norway

(9) KJERAGBOLTEN, Norway :  This is a massive 5 cubic metre boulder wedged into a crevasse on the edge of the KJERAG mountain in LYSEFJORDEN, Norway.  The block of stone is suspended 984mtres above a deep abyss.  Despite its impressive appearance, it is easily accessible on foot without any special equipment.  The whole of the KJERAG mountain is a popular hiking area, and KJERAGBOLTEN is a favourite photo spot.


(10) GOLDEN ROCK, Burma :  KYAIK-HTIYO or KYAIKTIYO (in Burmese), perched atop a cliff near Yangon, is one of the most sacred sites in Burma.  According to legend the Golden Rock, itself, is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha’s Hair.  The rock seems to defy gravity, as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of falling down the hill.  At the top f the rock is built a small pagoda and covered with gold leaves pasted on by devotees.  A glimpse of the “gravity-defying” Golden Rock is believed to be enough of an inspiration for any person to turn to Buddhism.


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