Flexibility isn’t a trait often related to rocks, however there’s one notable exception to the rule – itacolumite, a porous sandstone that turns into versatile when reduce into skinny strips.

Itacolumite is known as after the place the place it was initially found, the Pico do Itacolomi rock formation in Minas Gerais, Brazil, but it surely will also be discovered somewhere else world wide, comparable to Georgia and North Carolina within the US, and Kaliana village in India. This rock is usually used as a development stone; due to its good partition, it may be formed into plates about 1 cm thick and as much as 20 cm lengthy which might be then used largely as a ground or wall revetment. Nonetheless, when reduce into skinny strips of just a few centimeters, it shows excessive flexibility that has fascinated geologists for many years.


Photograph: Reddit

In response to Wikipedia, if a bit of itacolumite 30 to 60 centimeters lengthy is left supported solely at its ends, it would progressively bend beneath its personal weight. When turned over it would straighten and bend the opposite manner beneath the pull of gravity. It’s not one thing you often discover in rocks, but it surely’s not magic, however science.

The pliability of itacolumite has been the subject of heated debates between geologists cherished many centuries. At one cut-off date, it was believed that the presence of skinny scales of mica permitted a little bit of motion between adjoining grains of quartz, however the flexibility of this intriguing rock appears to have a special trigger.


Apparently, the porosity of itacolumite permits interstitial motion, whereas the hinge-like joints by which the sand particles are linked maintain them collectively regardless of the displacement.

Bending a bit of itacolumite has been described as a trippy experience by these fortunate sufficient to carry a strip of the quartzite of their arms, because it actually has the load of a rock, however flexes simply when strain is utilized to its ends.

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