Under Pressure

This is the Idol Rock, a classic balanced stone located in the Nidderdale “Area of Outstanding National Beauty” in Yorkshire, UK. The rock is made of layers of the “Millstone grit”, a set of carboniferous-aged sedimentary rocks found throughout Northern England and Wales. These abrasive sedimentary rocks got their name by being commonly sampled as flat slabs that were used to grind and mill grains in early water-powered mills.

A single thin layer holds up the huge weight of this rock – you can see how the alternating beds have different levels of resistance to erosion as you look up and down the unit. A variety of other shapes in this area have their own nicknames – Sphinx, The Watchdog, The Camel, The Turtle, and The Dancing Bear, all reflecting different shapes left behind by erosion. One thing to remember about rocks – they’re really strong in compression. You can squeeze rocks a lot and they just push right back. Rocks are much weaker in tension – pull on rocks from both sides and they’re much more likely to break. Via Facebook.

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