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Trovants, the rocks that grow in Romania

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It might seem like the plot of a science fiction movie, but these rocks that grow when they come into contact with water really exist, and even more incredible is the fact that they can move from one point to another.

They are known as Trovants and they are far from being a supernatural phenomenon, in reality it is a geological process that occurs more frequently in the small town of Costesti in the Valcea region of Romania.

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Some years ago, the inhabitants of the place did not give much importance to these rocks, they believed that they were perfectly normal and that there should be more in other parts of the world. they used them for civil construction. Today the region where these rocks grow became the Romanian Museum of the Trovant Nature Reserve (the Trovantilator Museum), an open-air museum inaugurated in 2004 and currently recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

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Finders of Costesti

The term “trovant” or “treasure” was a term coined by Gheorghe Munteanu-Murgoci, in his work of 1907, Tertiary Oltenia, for the German word “Sandsteinkonkretionen”, which means “cemented sand”. Cemented sand is precisely what trovants are: spherical forms of sand that arise on the ground after powerful seismic activities. In fact, the seismic events that brought these rocks to the surface probably occurred 6 million years ago.

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Trovants increase in size when they come into contact with water. Rocks so small, less than one centimeter, can grow up to 6 or 10 meters. Some even get around on their own. When cut or split, trovants reveal spherical rings, similar to those found in tree trunks. The trovants are supposedly made up of a stone core and an outer layer of sand. After a considerable rain, smaller rocks build up on top of larger ones, which is why they are called growth rocks.

Theories about growth rocks

There are many theories, some scientific and others fantastic, trying to offer an explanation for the strange behavior of the trovants. Geology concluded that these rocks are the result of a foundation process that took place millions of years in the past in this area. From a scientific point of view, these rocks would be concretions of sand and their irregular shapes product of the irregular secretion of the foundation.

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The formation of rocks in Romania is related to a thing known as diagenesis. But this is only a theory. No conclusive or well-documented experiments have ever been performed on this curious phenomenon. Meanwhile, the curious rocks remain a popular Romanian tourist attraction.

However, Romania is not the only place where this rare phenomenon occurs. There are actually more “living” stones in other regions of the world. There are reports that these types of rocks have been discovered in Russia and the Czech Republic; however, its concentration is much higher in Romania.

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