Science and Health

Stonehenge: Built For Music?

Researchers out of London's Royal College of Art say some bluestones, the rock found in the earliest stone circle, make musical tunes.

Stonehenge: Built For Music?
National Geographic

When you think of early rock music you probably think of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. But researchers now think they have found rock music that predates them by thousands of years.

Stonehenge. Yes, the famous monument may have been used to make actual "rock" music. Listen to this. (Via National Geographic)

"It's not the sound you'd expect from rock on rock, no." (Via BBC)

Researchers out of London's Royal College of Art say that's the sound some bluestones, one of the rock types found in Stonehenge, make. (Via BBC)

And they can actually make a range of sounds. To find this out — researchers spent months tapping more than 1,000 types of rock.

The lead researcher said, "We have had percussionists up here who have been able to actually get proper tunes out of the rocks. This is real rock music." (Via ITV)

Perhaps this was the reason these rocks were transported 200 miles when there were local rocks that could have been used to build Stonehenge. (Via PBS)

More proof the rocks could have been a giant musical instrument: "Large chunks of rock missing from the stones would also suggest they they have been hit throughout their lifetime." (Via Daily Mail)

The new study did make for some entertaining headlines: "Was Stonehenge a giant XYLOPHONE?" "Are Stonehenge's Boulders Actually Big Bell?" (Via, The Atlantic)

Thanks to the study, music can now be added to a long list of possible reasons why Stonehenge was built — including it being used as a calendar, religious area and even alien landing zone.