Pass by. Scientists told why the pyramids of stones are dangerous and what not to do with them

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< img class="aligncenter" src="/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/prohodite-mimo-uchenye-rasskazali-chem-opasny-piramidy-iz-kamnej-i-chego-ne-stoit-s-nimi- delat-40f0d8f.jpg" alt="Come on by. Scientists told us why cairns are dangerous and what not to do with them" />

Such sculptures are beautiful and eye-catching, but scientists warn that they are also dangerous.

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The word “cairn” comes from the Scottish Gaelic word, which means “heap of stones”. Such “pyramids” are actively used by travelers on intricate routes, but recently they have become popular outside of tourism, writes IFL Science.

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What are stone pyramids?

Such figures are actively used by travelers on particularly intricate routes, such as the Camino de Santiago – cairns should help the lost to return to the path. However, recently their popularity has gone far beyond tourism – more and more stone pyramids or even entire groups of figures appear in places of rest or stopovers for tourists.

Although the cairn is able to strengthen the sense of community of those who follow the same tourist trail, as well as help lost travelers to return to the trail, it also carries a danger.

According to the staff of the Service national parks in the United States, firstly, decorative cairns can confuse tourists when they are trying to find the right path, and secondly, the construction of cairns contradicts the key principle of being in nature – do not leave marks.

The researchers note that it is important for tourists to remember that moving a stone in the wild, we, unwittingly, can harm the creature that lives under it. In addition, such actions can contribute to soil erosion, the destruction of the microenvironment of plants and animals.

At the same time, scientists note that the pyramids that show the way to tourists are really important. However, the process of creating cairns is out of control – national park officials note that unauthorized stone pyramids can play a cruel joke on travelers.

 Pass by. cairns are dangerous and what not to do with them

Come on by. Scientists told us why cairns are dangerous and what not to do with them

Where do stone cairns come from?

There is an opinion that the first cairn was built by Waldron Bates, the lead author of the route map of the island, back in 1986. It is assumed that he was dedicated to hiking trails, and Bates after describing the standards of the correct cairn, how it should be built from stones, now this manner of building cairns from stones is called the “Bates style”. Note that the Bates pyramids were actually very different from how we see the cairns today.

What to do if you see a cairn?

National park staff strongly recommend that you try not to leave traces of your stay in the forest, and therefore the rangers advise you to pass by if you meet a cairn on the way.

Researchers note that tourists should control themselves, and keep their hands to themselves – do not destroy build or move cairns, just leave them alone and move on.