Growing Stones - Trovants

It is difficult to image that stones can really grow, but these stones seem to be alive!

The Romanian Trovants Museum Natural Reserve is located in Valcea County, close to the road connecting Ramnicu Valcea and Targu Jiu, 8 km far from Horezu.

Here in a small village named Costesti, there are some fascinating and mysterious stones, called trovants, which are believed to have a life in them. Trovant is a geological term used often in Romania. It means cemented sand.

Trovants are geological phenomena which consist in spherical shapes of cemented sand, appeared due to some powerful seismic activity.

The earthquakes that led to the creation of the first trovants are supposed to have taken place 6 million years ago.

What makes these trovants unique and mysterious is that are reproducing after coming in contact with water.

After heavy raining the stones grow starting with 6-8 millimetres and ending with 6-10 meters.

It's really remarkable!

Trovants in Romania are stones that grow.

One of the strangest aspects about these stones is that although they vary in size, from a couple of millimeters to even 10 m, they are very similar, taking into account a natural law that states there are no such things as identical stones.

In addition, just like the famous rocks in Death Valley, California, the trovants often move from one place to another place.

Scientists believe that the stones increase in size due to high content of various mineral salts, which are under their shell. When the surface becomes wet, these chemicals start spreading and put pressure on the sand, making the stone "grow".

A "living" stone.

A trovant having a strange shape.

Today trovants are protected.

However, despite their best efforts, scientists have failed to come up with a logical explanation why the stones have extensions that remind of roots. If they are cut, their sections have colored rings, just like trees.

These stones behave almost like some kind of unknown inorganic life-form! We cannot deny that our planet is truly amazing!

Local residents have been aware of the stones unusual properties for more than 100 years, but they have never paid the trovants any special attention. The stones were often used as building materials and tombstones.

Today, the Trovants Museum in Romania is protected by UNESCO.