Are rock balancers for real?

:smiley: Title homage intentional.


Unbelievable. Is it real or photoshopped? I scoured the site and can’t find one hint of parody or irony; the safe thing to do in any situation like this is always to say HELL NO, I THINK IT’S FAKE first so you don’t look dumb later ;).

While I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as impressive as what’s in the linked site in person, rock balancing is definitely for real. If you go for a walk around the seawall in Stanley Park in Vancouver you’ll pretty much always see some neat stacks of rocks that appear to defy the laws of gravity.

I’ve even given it a try myself once or twice - I can’t claim any great skill, but it was mostly just a matter of patience in trying to find the balance point. Of course, most of my attempts just came crashing down and I probably should’ve been wearing some form of footwear other than sandals, but I was at the beach with some friends and we just decided to give it a try.

Long ago I saw a stage show of a guy who claimed he could balance anything on anything else. Among the props he brought: a barbecue grill, which he balanced on a bicycle. He also invited the audience to contribute small objects and made a tower out of things like compacts, golf balls, little boxes…people who had stuff got to stand there on the stage while he did it so they could see that all he was doing, basically, was stacking stuff. He invited people to try their hand–“Here, just put this thing on top of this other thing…” and then when they failed he would do it without apparent effort.

But the key thing here was that not only did he stand a bicycle up without a kick-stand, he then went on to put a barbecue grill on top of it. After that rocks seem easy.

It’s real. I’ve seen the guy in action in SF.

There are some small piles of balanced rocks along the Pat Bay Highway near the daffodil farm.

The picture on the site’s home page was taken near the Golden Gate Bridge, probably near Fort Point (which is under the south end of the bridge). This place is often very windy. I guess the picture was taken on an unusually calm day.

Can he balance the national budget?

We saw a real example when we were visiting a beach in Washington state. It was the first time we’d seen it, or even heard of it, and the person who had done it was long gone. It was very strange to see these rocks balanced on top of each other, with no visible means of support.

I watched the video and you don’t actually see him place the top rock on the next rock, just positioning it.

Call me skeptical.

On top of a bicycle, you mean?

Finding the balancing point can take many minutes, so the video is edited. I’ve seen it done at the Dana Point jetty in California, so add my voice to those who have witnessed it first hand.

Bush rides a bike. He can’t maintain his balance on it much better than he does w/ the budget.

Absolutely real, although his are impressive indeed.

When you have a bunch of kids in the woods with no toys, they learn to do some neat stuff. Like these! Made for a strange looking creek by the time we left!

These were created by two ten year olds and a nine year old, inspired by a 30 year old who does larger scale ones. I have no doubt a grown man could heft and balance some big rocks. Actually, my rock-balancing friend says big rocks are easier, because they can’t be blown or pushed down by water. They have enough mass to stay put once you get them balanced.

Let’s keep this on topic. And by that, I mean NO politics.

Thanks, guys!

samclem GQ moderator

Pretty amazing. The rocks are one thing, since they have rough edges to mess around with, but the bottles and glasses balanced on a piece of rebar seem to defy the laws of gravity.

If you like that kind of stuff, I’d suggest plugging “Andy Goldsworthy” into Google Images.

Yep real. Like others have said, I’ve seen the guy in action around San Francisco.

The first time I saw him I wondered if the rocks were glued together, he had such a high stack, but we stopped to watch him stack them. Just ordinary rocks balanced on one another. It’s pretty neat.

Can somebody provide some more information here about the technique involved here?

threemae, who is having trouble stacking legos

Ah, it’s a 1920s-style cleft ray.

What, does Mangetout have the day off?

In the website I linked to, the guy says: