Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Sunday Night's "So What Is It?

After a busy weekend at the conference of the Far West Section of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (an album of FB pictures here), Mrs. Geotripper and I headed up and out of Fresno, avoiding at all costs the flat confines of our Great Valley ("great" for a lot of reasons, but scenery is not necessarily among them). Our journey took us along a rather uncrowded mountain byway, and this one caused me to hit the brakes. It has now become our latest mystery photo...
So...tell us all what the heck this thing is, what it might be made of, and how it came to be. The first prize is the usual, a sense of smug satisfaction! Those are a couple of bedrock mortars at the base, providing some sense of scale (they are holes formed as the indigenous people of the region ground up acorns; they are 6-7 inches across). Below is a closeup of the base. The elevation is around 7,000 feet.
Extra credit will be given for the most original and outlandish explanation...

10 comments:

meg said...

Oh man! THAT'S where I left my giant vintage football. Thanks, I'll go pick that up in a couple days. Sorry for your inconveniences.

Serious Answer: Is it some kind of massive concretion that has been weathered out of its original location and is now perched on this pedestal thanks to weathering?

bogoizbrania said...

Giants play golf!

Gaelyn said...

Mike had to help me with this one. It's called an "atlas rock" and is the only one left from a game of lifting giant boulders onto pedestals. And this is just one of the small ones.

Randy A. said...

Could it be a glacial erratic? The pedestal could have been formed by differential weathering.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of a teed-up golf ball for giants-- although black would be hard to track in the forest. Or, it could be a giant's rugby ball on a tee.

I too think it's a glacial erratic, dropped onto, or stuck on granite of a different composition.

The identity form defeats me, so I come on as anonymous, Parclair

Silver Fox said...

It looks like a petrified hot air balloon, especially in the first photo.

Anonymous said...

It is a giant petrified morel mushroom. Two mushrooms are in an oven and one looks at the other and says "oh my gosh were being cooked" the other looks over and says "oh my gosh a talking mushroom".

I also would say its a glacial erratic, and the rock it sits on weathered faster creating the pedestal

Doug N

mountainbeltway said...

A big mafic enclave, weathering out of the Sierran granite?

Anonymous said...

If a mafic enclave is the same thing as a xenolith, I agree with Mountainbeltway. Tom

Anonymous said...

Heh, just stumbled across this pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/50121906@N07/5077306554/

(parclair)