Kummakivi is a large balancing rock in Ruokolahti, Finland. The 7-metre long boulder lies on a convex bedrock surface with a very small footprint but so firmly that it cannot be rocked with human force.
The name of this Finnish balancing rock, ‘Kummakivi’, has been translated to mean ‘strange rock’. Two rocks make up this unusual geological formation. The rock on the bottom has the shape of a curved mound. It is lodged in the earth, and has a smooth, convex surface.
|A large precarious
boulder called Kummakivi (”Strange stone”), located in Ruokolahti,
southeastern FInland. A white miniature schnauzer under it gives an idea
of the scale.|
Resting on the top of this bedrock is another huge rock measuring about 7 meters long (22.97 ft). The contact point between these two rocks is rather small, and it looks as though the upper rock is performing an impossible balancing act.
Anyone looking at the Kummakivi Balancing Rock for the first time would probably be expecting the upper rock to roll off at any time. Yet the rock is firmly anchored onto the bedrock, and it has yet to be pushed over (or even moved slightly) by any human being.
People have probably always wondered that, but we'll never know because it has been there approximately 12,000 years — way before we started recording anything. However, Finnish folklore says that some giants or trolls carried the rock to the forest and balanced it on its plinth. These days geologists say it was deposited by a retreating glacier at the end of the last ice age — and as we know, a glacier is basically the only thing as strong as a giant or a troll.
Supernatural and Scientific Explanations
Finnish folklore also states that such creatures have the habit of throwing boulders around, creating cairns, and carving out strange holes in rocky outcrops (which are believed to have been used by these giants to churn milk). Thus, the explanation provided by local folklore for the Kummakivi Balancing Rock is that it was brought / rolled / thrown there by a giant / troll.
Geologists, however, have provided an alternate explanation for the formation of the Kummakivi Balancing Rock. It has been speculated that the huge rock had been brought there by glaciers during the last glacial period. When the glaciers retreated from the area to the north, about 12,000 years ago, this rock was left behind, and hence became the Kummakivi Balancing Rock.