Trovants Are A Mysterious and Fantastical Geological Phenomenon
Have you ever heard of living stones?
How about rocks that grow?
Sounds super fascinating, right? Trovants are a unique and kind of strange geological formation. They look weird, as if cement is oozing from them. Personally, I think they look like a cross between a mushroom and a rock.
Trovants are so strange looking, and so cool and unique. Because of this, they inspire locals in the small town of Costesti in Romania to believe that they can grow and move like living things. Rather than… you know, just rocks.
Trovants come in all different shapes and sizes. Some of them are like a pebble you can toss into a lake. Others are up to 4.5 metres tall. There are hundreds of known trovants, and they can be found at a minimum of 20 different sites in Romania.
What Causes These Unusual Formations?
The formal name for a trovant is a “concretion”. They’re hard, compact masses formed by precipitation of mineral cement. They’re generally found in sedimentary rock or soil, and are usually spherical and slightly irregular in shape. In other words, they look kind of like a mushroom.
The word “concretion” comes from concretio. This translates to ‘compacting, condensing, congealing, or uniting’. Con means ‘together’ and crescere means ‘to grow’.
How Long Does Concretion Take?
Scientists have considered trovants geologically strange since the 18th century! There are so many sizes, shapes, and forms of them. Because of this, people have thought they’re dinosaur eggs, plant fossils, or even alien debris.
However, here’s the kicker: trovants are up to six million years old! They’re sedimentary sand grains or rocks bound together by a limestone cement. Hence their name: concretion.
Because they can’t really find any difference between a concretion and the surrounding sand matter, scientists suspect the funny-shaped trovants were formed by the Middle Miocene.
During this era millions of years ago, shockwaves from the earth compacted sandy sediment. This concentrated the limestone cement and formed these spherical lumps. There’s not a lot of research done on trovants. However, researchers estimate that they ‘grow’ at only about 4-5 cm over the course of 1,200 years.
Where Are These Living Stones Found?
You can find these living stones mostly in the small town of Costesti, Romania. However, you’ll also see other concretions in places like Czech Republic and surrounding areas.
There are at least 20 different sites in Romania where you’ll find trovants.
How To See Trovants In Person
Want to check out these mysterious living stones of Romania for yourself? You’re going to have to head to Romania’s Valcea County. You can check out a sand quarry nearby in Costesti village. Alternatively, you can go along a river in Gresarea Brook. You can also see trovants at the official Trovants Museum, which is a natural reserve run by the Kogayon Association.
This association raises awareness about protecting the environment. They feature the unique and strange trovants to inspire people to preserve and protect the beauty of nature.