Rock Balancing

image Bill Dan balances rocks. His balanced rocks look very cool, but I have a hard time believing that they're all just balancing naturally without a little extra help. Actually, he seems quite legitimate... and they're supposed to look like they're defying gravity. That's the whole point. But still. Some of the rocks on his site I look at and say to myself 'there's no way that would possibly stand.' (via j-walk)


Posted on Tue Nov 23, 2004


I saw Mr. Dan at our local fair demonstrating his art. He didn't use any tools. Just picked out rocks by weight and shape. I watched him do 3 and none fell down.
Posted by Carrie  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  08:49 AM
Hardware store frequently have displays of heavy things attached at awkward angles, to show off the strength of the glue that holds them together.
The similarity of appearance here is likely more than coincidental (i.e., I suspect glue is involved).
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  11:13 AM
Wow, look at
It's Ronald Regan's face!
Maybe Mr. Dan should sell that rock on eBay.

Posted by John.  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  01:17 PM
John., I get an error message when I click on that link.
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  01:32 PM
I dunno; I tried it when I posted it and it work, and just tried it now and it still works for me.
What error message? A 404, or something else?

Posted by John.  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  02:38 PM
"You don't have permission to access /images/exhibitions/face-0208cf.jpg on this server.
Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
Apache/1.3.32 Server at Port 80"
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  03:12 PM
No, that link doesn't work for me either. Seems like they have their server configured to prevent hotlinking directly to images.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  03:21 PM
The rock balancing is real, no tricks involved. A lot of people do it.
Posted by mara  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  07:01 PM
damn u need patience to do things like these, hey mr boese congrats for ur website its one of my favorites.
Posted by ekttor  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  10:12 PM
Hi, folks.
I'm the sponsor/designer/webmaster for Bill Dan's website. Yup, it's real; no glue, just skill. You can learn it, too -- I did, and that's why I do his site for free.
Yes, I've configured the server to prevent hotlinking; sorry if you find that offensive - it's defensive, really, but you don't want to know.
There are, indeed, many people practicing this art/craft/discipline, and I appreciate being informed about other balancers unknown to me. Neither Bill (nor I) claim dominion over the field, and I will even host webspace for images from balancers who have none. Click through the site, you'll see what I mean.
Posted by Daliel  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  10:52 PM
Okay, there is *one* image on the Rock On site I find very difficult to believe. It's the second on down on the left of the page linked.
Posted by mara  on  Fri Nov 26, 2004  at  11:58 AM
There's a guy in San Diego who has a bunch of balanced rocks just like those sitting in his front yard. Every once in awhile he changes them. He lives in the neighborhood on the east side of Pomorado road between Poway road and Ted Williams Parkway. I stopped once for a closer look. They are definitly very real, and even more impressive in person.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Sat Nov 27, 2004  at  02:41 PM
When I go out to restaurants I shake all of the salt in the salt shaker to one side, & then stand the skaker on it's edge. My husband shakes salt on his coaster & says that he does that so the coaster won't stick...But I don't see the logic in that. Salt dissolves in water...water (condensation) deposits on the coaster. Sure salt changes the freezing/boiling temp of things...but the water on the coaster?

Sorry...didn't mean to get us off-topic! =o)
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun Nov 28, 2004  at  01:00 PM
There's a guy that regularly balances rocks all along a one mile stretch of Coast Hwy 101 by Cardiff State Beach just north of Solana Beach, CA.
Posted by Eric  on  Mon Nov 29, 2004  at  05:52 PM
there is a guy in vancouver, bc that does similar work on the shore line in stanly park. we watched him work for about an hour.
i have lots of pics to show if anyone wants to see them. they are in a high resolution though...

Posted by td  on  Thu Dec 02, 2004  at  09:37 PM
;-P You can also Check Bill Dan out on [ ]
Posted by eddy fs  on  Fri Dec 03, 2004  at  04:48 PM
I have watched Daryl Maddeaux (born in Fredericton, NB) balance rocks at the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) He has been doing this artform since 1994. Have some photos, but his technique is interesting in that he uses a small rock (5 cm) a large rock (mayby 50 cm) then small etc. for an interesting - gravity defying effect. Once he picks up a stone, his rule is that he will not put it down until he balances it - sometimes going past closing hour.
Posted by Jim  on  Tue Dec 14, 2004  at  10:22 AM
Have I seen this guy at Seaport Village? Seems like he possibly "salts" the area he is "working" in with his own rocks. Seen lots of his pictures...surprising no one seems to notice the same shaped rocks over and over again in different formations. It even appears that a particular "smaller rock" is a favorite to use between two larger stones. It can be done, I have attempted and succeeded (some time involved with placing and moving the stones) after I was done I knocked it down and still"create" the same pile at any time I care to. Simple really no tricks, just thought the guy in seaport village was faking most of it.
Posted by San Diego Ron  on  Fri Oct 12, 2007  at  03:59 PM
I have seen these guys work. I have also done it in my own yard. My attempts are simplistic compared to the "pros" but I am amazed but what I could do. It seems to work better if you don't try hard. I have one stack of 5 rocks that have been standing for 3 weeks through rain and high winds. I don't have any idea why it works but it does.
Posted by MJF  on  Wed Nov 19, 2008  at  04:42 PM
I watched on the net Kent Avery on the west coast and then tried it here on the east coast.. more squarish jagged rock here but it really works..

There is no glue of any kind.. it could not dry that fast if there was ...go try it don't knock it.
it makes the viewer and the builder feel at peace - its all good..
Posted by Al Friedar  on  Sat Sep 04, 2010  at  09:49 AM
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