Big rocks’ balancing acts

Scientists study how balanced boulders resist falling over — and what that may say about earthquakes.

By Douglas Fox, 15:43 PM October 19, 2011





Richard Brune was pretty dizzy the first time he shot photos while leaning out of a flying airplane.


The plane’s door had been removed so Brune could ride with one leg outside. As the tiny propeller plane zigzagged over the desert, Brune leaned out over empty air. The 80 mile-per-hour headwind pummeled his face. He looked through his camera and snapped pictures of the rocky desert hundreds of feet below.


He got woozy after a few seconds, unsure which way was up. He learned to avoid that fe...

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