When I first learned about this phenomenon it sounded (no pun intended) like something you'd read about on Atlas Obscura. Turns out, they know about it.

Montana has an abundance of natural landmarks and wonders, making exploring the state a real treat. We asked our listeners what some of their favorite natural landmarks are in Montana and they gave shout-outs to:

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But one listener mentioned a place neither Chris nor I had heard of. Have you ever visited the Ringing Rocks near Butte, Montana?

According to visitmt.com, the site is a "unique geological formation" that creates tones like a bell when the rocks are hit with a hammer.

hammer over rocks
Nickolas Warner via YouTube

The site is located near Butte, Montana, and can be visited any time of year. They even provide hammers for your musical pleasure.

hammers hanging from iron bar
Nickolas Warner via YouTube

If you've never been, you can hear what the rocks sound like in the video below. They remind me a little bit of Balinese gamelan music or even just the sound of a hammer on an anvil. Take a listen:

Why do the rocks sing?

Science isn't exactly sure, but the best guess, according to vistimt.com is that "the ringing is a combination of the composition of the rock and the way the joining patterns have developed as the rocks have eroded away, if a boulder is removed from the pile, it doesn't ring."

The saying "leave it better than you found it" applies here. Play a song, but leave the boulders alone.

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