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An intricately carved rock formation shaped, as some media outlets attest, like a UFO has been unearthed in China and has captured the imagination of that Asian nation. It is being reported that the mysterious “UFO rock” has baffled experts as to its origin and the debate is on: Is it a naturally formed and/or eroded rock or is it some carved artifact from an ancient civilization that served some as yet unidentified purpose?
The Daily Mail reported this week that a Chinese villager revealed a 6-ton, 5-foot tall rock that he believes resembles an unidentified flying object (UFO). It consists of three levels and apparently has locals and experts puzzled as to what the oddly shaped structure might be. Originally discovered in April by a man named Xia Changjun as he drove through Hubei Province in central China, he saw the rock as it jutted out from the side of a mountain. He told the People’s Daily Online that he pulled to the side of the rode and attempted to dig and find the bottom of the funny-looking rock with holes in it. Intrigued, Xia found the landowner and purchased the “unusual” rock. He then unearthed it, spending a week doing so before having it transported by crane to his home.
As the Sun described the “UFO rock,” it is three-tiered, having a layer of several pointed stones at its base covered by a flat level of rock. Curved pillars then form a support for a top level that, in turn, supports more pointed shapes that rise upwards.
Local historians have speculated on the strange shape of the rock, debating on whether or not the structure may have been carved by natural forces. Some offered that it might have been the product of an ancient civilization.
Wang Qingxiang, an expert on the culture and history of Hubei and Hunan, told a reporter that he did not know whether or not the rock was a result of natural processes or had been carved by ancient ancestors. Puzzled by the rock’s shape, he said the rock could have been used as an altar table for some ritualistic purpose, or it might have been employed as some wartime signal device long ago.
But as unsure as he was over what the formation might actually be, Wang was able to identify the rock with some certainty. It was basalt stone.
Since unearthing the odd-looking formation, Xia said that word of his find had become common knowledge, and he had received numerous offers from prospective buyers. He told the media that just this week he was approached with a generous offer to purchase the strange “UFO rock.” He said a man offered him 100,000 yuan (£11,765, or $14,450), but he could not accept the money.
“I didn’t sell it,” Xia said. “This is too precious to me.”
As puzzled as experts in China might be, readers of the Daily Mail were quick to suggest that the so-called “UFO rock” was nothing more than a strange example of water erosion. Commenter tynes posted, “Local historians could not explain why the stone has such a strange shape? Ask a decent Geologist!”
Another, Johnnybig, wrote, “Water the most powerful force in nature. 2nd grade science. Is this really puzzling to people? What happened to the world? Is there mercury in our water or something?”
And still another, MasterTracker, found that a different acronym — other than UFO — might be in order to describe the rock, regardless of its origin. “UGO? Unidentified Grounded Object.”
All the media sensationalism aside, similar images can be found via Google of riparian structures or subterranean caverns carved into convoluted or strangely symmetrical formations. Xia Changjun’s “UFO rock” appears to be nothing more than a remarkable example of basalt rock carved by water erosion.
[Featured Image by Ana Aguirre Perez/Shutterstock]