AROUND SLOVAKIA

Devil's Rock is firm

A SO-CALLED mushroom rock near Budča has good stability and future generations will be able to admire this natural phenomenon, the Sme daily wrote. The Devil's Rock, as the stone is known, which stands in the Boky national nature reserve near Budča, seems to deny all natural rules. A massive volcanic bomb of andesite, it perches on just a slim tuff underlay. The unique natural form came about thanks to different weathering of the andesite and tuff layers.

Rock steady: The Devil's Rock near Budča is perfectly stable, say experts,Rock steady: The Devil's Rock near Budča is perfectly stable, say experts, (Source: SME - Ján Krošlák)

A SO-CALLED mushroom rock near Budča has good stability and future generations will be able to admire this natural phenomenon, the Sme daily wrote. The Devil's Rock, as the stone is known, which stands in the Boky national nature reserve near Budča, seems to deny all natural rules. A massive volcanic bomb of andesite, it perches on just a slim tuff underlay. The unique natural form came about thanks to different weathering of the andesite and tuff layers.

The strictest level of preservation and protection is in force in the reserve, but visitors do not always respect this. There have been cases of people trying to push the rock over.

“We even saw a cyclist, although the landscape here is mountainous and demanding,” Ivan Rybár, of the reserve's administration, said. However, the rock has good stability, according to Rybár, which was confirmed by research several years ago.

The volcanic bomb, which is about five cubic metres high, is seated firmly on the tuff underlay for which it provides natural protection.

“Acid rain does its work. But our generation, as well as the next one, should not be fear losing this natural gem,” the mayor of Budča, František Moravec said. The Devil's Rock may fall in hundreds, or maybe thousands of years. A different situation may occur during seismic activity, but even then, the rock should not cause any damage. The forest beneath it should slow down, or even halt, its potential fall.

Similar rock formations are very popular around the world because of their curious shape. They are often called rocking stones, as they also make slight pendular motions. The Devil's Rock does not move, and experts therefore regard it a mushroom rock instead.

Similar rocks have always been considered a mystery, thus devils and Satan frequently occur in their names. Similarly famous are the Devil's Marbles, in Australia.

Curiosity has led people to damage the rocking stones. The Czech Republic's Kadov Rocking Stone, weighing 30 tonnes, was pushed over, but later replaced by engineers.

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