One-Ton “Wizard Rock” Vanishes From Forest; Reappears Weeks Later

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Wizard Rock Prescott National Forest
Prescott National Forest/Facebook

Recently, a one-ton boulder earned the nickname “Wizard Rock” for a good reason: despite weighing as much as a car, it vanished from a national forest in Arizona! Then, weeks later, it reappeared. Not long after the story went viral, Prescott National Forest needed to release a press release. Here’s everything we know about the strange occurrences…

The Wizard Rock Disappeared

Prescott National Forest
Prescott National Forest/Facebook, sevenMaps7/Shutterstock

Forests are sources of great mystery. After all, one of the greatest philosophical questions of all time remains “if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?” However, last month, Prescott National Forest in Arizona found itself wrapped in an even more puzzling, real-life mystery.

For years, visitors to the forest loved to stop by the giant black boulder above. And you can see why! It’s streaked with white quartz, and weighs as much as a car, making it stand out amidst the green scenery. However, a few weeks ago, the boulder, nicknamed “Wizard Rock,” up and disappeared. Its vanishing act baffled everyone working at the park. How could a rock of this size simply disappear, especially without anyone noticing? However, the odd occurrences did not stop there. In fact, they were just beginning…

The Strange Re-Appearance

Wizard Rock Prescott National Forest Arizona
Prescott National Forest/Facebook

Sarah Clawson, the district ranger for the Prescott National Forest said in a statement, “t’s unfortunate when we lose a treasure such as the Wizard Rock. Our hope is that it will be returned to us, and these recent recurring events will become an educational opportunity. These boulders belong to the public, and should be enjoyed by locals and visitors for years to come.”

As you might imagine, the entire park felt a sense of extreme loss. But not for long! On November 1, a forest employee drove around the park on his routine patrol. And that’s when he saw it: Wizard Rock had reappeared, right in its original place! Once again: while the boulder might not look like a lot, it weighs one-ton! That’s 1000 pounds! Few amateurs have access to the tools required to move such a large rock. Which has some locals already wondering if humans were involved at all…

Regardless of who took Wizard Rock, Clawson just feels happy it’s home. “We are thrilled the Wizard Rock was returned, and are grateful that whoever took it was conscientious enough to give it back to the public,” she wrote in a second press release. “[National Parks] provide so many benefits to the American people, and when something like this happens, it highlights the intrinsic value of natural beauty in all its forms.”

The Punishment For Stealing From National Parks

Wizard Rock Prescott National Forest Arizona
Prescott National Forest/Facebook

Authorities still don’t know who took the boulder or how, but its temporary loss got park workers thinking. They’re now deliberating whether they should relocate it elsewhere. Especially as the Wizard Rock’s disappearance wasn’t the first one to occur in Prescott National Forest recently. In the past few years, thieves (or aliens) have stolen two other giant rocks from the park, one weighing 750 pounds, the other a whopping 2,000! Everyone should know: removing – stealing – anything from National Forests without a permit is illegal. The punishment? $5,000, six months in jail, or both!

Clawson wishes to educate the public on this topic, and encourages people to ask if they’re curious. “If members of the public have questions about what they can take or purchase from the Prescott National Forest, or how to obtain legal authorization to do so, they should contact any of our offices for information.”

Sources: Facebook, IFLScience, MSN, Weather.Com