Krishna’s Butterball: The Rock that defies Physics

Krishna's Butterball: The Rock that defies Physics

Do you hate physics? Well apparently this rock does as well. Nicknamed ‘Krishna’s Butterball’, this monolithic graphite rock found in Mahabalipuram India, this rock is 20 feet in height. Almost spherical in shape, this rock has amazed physicists and historians; weighing a mighty 250 tons it still stands still on a hill slope.

The rock covers a very small patch of land on ground and remains grounded and unmoved even by storms and tsunamis. While some people say that the rock is a result of erosion due to natural forces, it is highly unlikely. It is impossible for either air or water to carve this sort of boulder amidst the plain area which is devoid of any such rocks.

The rock which stands on a 4 feet base, now attracts thousands of tourists and is a popular tourist spot. The base of the rock is firmly “attached” to the hill below. In fact in 1908 the Governor of Madras (Arthur Lawley, 6th Baron Wenlock) thought that this rock was too dangerous and would slide off the hill, and cause harm to people and houses nearby. So, he ordered that the rock be removed from that spot. Seven elephants were used in tandem to push the rock. But the rock didn’t even move an inch and the Governor finally gave up on this impossible task.

Historians have dated the boulder to be from before the Pallavi regime (7th century B.C). The boulder’s original name actually means ‘Stone of the Sky God’. We now know why!


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