What are those weird rock sculptures?

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Stone balancing

Stone balancing or rock stacking can be a performance art, a spectacle, or a devotion, depending on how you interpret it. If you’ve ever wondered along the rocky coast of Lanzarote you will have no doubt come upon strange sculptures made of rocks balanced on top of each other.

Basically, stone balancing requires high levels of patience, concentration and sensitivity. A combination of rocks or stones are placed in arrangements which appear to be physically impossible but are actually only highly improbable. The use of adhesives, wires, supports, or rings are not permitted.

To many stone balancer’s, it is an art form that also provides a kind of meditation. In some parts of Nepal, stone balancing is played as a game, where players make a balancing tower of flat rocks and adds a round one at the top.

Stone balancing styles

In Lanzarote, you will mainly see counterbalance and pure balance styles of stone balancing but there are more!

Balanced stacking – rocks laid flat upon each other to great height
Counterbalance – lower rocks depend on the weight of upper rocks to maintain balance
Free style – mixture of the two above; may include arches and sandstone
Pure balance – each rock in near-point balance

The art of stone balancing is taken quite seriously throughout the world, there’s even an annual Rock Stacking World Championship held in Texas!

Here in Lanzarote there are numerous stone balancers, some serious and some just enjoying defying gravity, Matthew Scott is one of them. Matthew has been balancing stones along the coast of Lanzarote since 2008. if you fancy seeing him at work or even taking part in a workshop get in touch with him here.