Trovants- the Growing Stones of Romania
Trovants are growing stones found in Romania at two locations in Vâlcea County- the first is a sand quarry before the entry in Costeşti village while the second location, which is a more spectacular one, is along Gresarea Brook that flows into a river in the neighborhood Oteşani.
South of central Romania these stone formations with alien features lie dormant, until it begins to rain. Until the last drops of falling water, they resume their process of multiplication. Small oval or round blain-like forms appear on the upper crusts of the previous year stones. People are left astounded and locals are surprised, when after a heavy rainfall these rock formations begin to ‘grow' on their own.
The term trovant is specific to the Romanian geological literature and was introduced first by the naturalist Gh. M. Murgoci in his work "The Tertiary in Oltenia".Trovants, also known as "growing stones", are formations found in sand accumulations and sandstone deposits cemented by waters rich in calcium carbonate. They appear as mineral units, nodular, spherical or cylindrical with massive, concentric or plain structures ranging from a few millimeters to several meters. The trovants have a hard stone core, but their shells are made of sand. After every heavy rain shower, these stones in Central Romania display this unusual characteristic of self multiplication and growth. Their dimensions span anywhere from several millimeters to as large as six to eight metres.
Study reveals that trovants can be formed only in large deposits of highly porous sand along with the presence of certain mineral carbonates. The growth of the stone happens when a chemical reaction sets in between the layers of sand and the mineral carbonates in the presence of rain water. As the reaction proceeds, it forms layers over the inner rock core. The rock thus appears to grow as layers of the sand and mineral carbonate product deposit at a rate of 4-5 cm in 1200 years. Small oval or round forms of the sand-mineral carbonate appear over the surface of the stone cores after a heavy shower, giving the appearance of a growing stone. Samples of trovants are kept on display at the Trovant Museum in Costesti, in the Valcea region of Romania.
What appeared to be a miracle of nature to the local Romanian is now a spectacular geological feat of nature unravelled by scientific study.