Kummakivi: Finland’s Enormous Balancing Rock That Defies Gravity

In the wilderness of Finland, amidst the serene landscapes, there stands a geological marvel known as Kummakivi—a colossal balancing rock that defies gravity, captivating the imagination with its mysterious equilibrium and intriguing natural formation.

An enormous rock that defies gravity? A rock that balances on another rock with such precision that it looks like it could fall at any moment? If this raises your curiosity, you should definitely visit Kummakivi, a large balancing rock in Ruokolahti, Finland.

Kummakivi is Finnish for “strange rock”, and it is indeed a strange sight to behold. Resting upon a convex bedrock surface, the seven-meter (23 ft) long boulder maintains such a secure position that, despite its minimal footprint, it resists any attempt to be rocked by human force. Even so, it looks like someone placed it there deliberately, but how and why?

There are many legends and myths surrounding Kummakivi, such as that it was left there by giants or trolls, or that it marks the burial site of an ancient king. Some people even believe that it has magical powers and can grant wishes. However, the scientific explanation is more mundane but still fascinating.

In reality, Kummakivi is a glacial erratic, a rock that was carried by a glacier and likely moved into its place by the shifting masses of ice 11,000 to 12,000 years ago. Where exactly it originates from is unknown.

Glacial erratics can be found all over the world, but what makes Kummakivi special is that it remained balanced on another rock instead of falling to the ground. This is because the glacier eroded the bedrock surface underneath the boulder, creating a smooth and curved shape that matched the shape of the boulder’s bottom. The boulder also has a low center of gravity, which helps it stay stable.

Kummakivi is not the only balancing rock in Finland, but it is one of the most impressive and accessible ones. That said, since it is located in a forest, getting there is a bit of an adventure in itself. You can access the stone through two routes: one is via the forest trail from Kummakiventie, and the other involves walking along the shores of Lake Pitkäjärvi to Sammalsilla. The path traverses over the lake and ultimately reaches the stone.

Luckily, the boulder cannot be moved by human force. Photo: Petritap

Location: Kummakiventie, Ruokolahti 56310 Finland

Coordinates:61°29’36.7″N 28°25’46.3″E61.49352642, 28.42951939

Kummakivi is a natural wonder that showcases the power and beauty of nature. It is also a reminder of how fragile and rare such formations are, and how important it is to preserve them for future generations (thankfully, Kummakivi has been protected since 1962). If you ever find yourself in Finland, don’t miss the chance to see this strange rock for yourself.

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