The discovery of unique rocks found on a Lake Superior, Michigan beach is getting a lot of buzz. These aren’t just any old rocks — they glow. Yes, it’s bizarre and definitely beautiful, as the rocks, known as yooperlites, which are florescent, were first discovered by Erik Rintamaki in June 2017. To see if the rocks glow, the Sodalite gemstones are placed under a 365 nanometer UV light.
The result is stunning.
People became more aware of this interesting find after Erik recorded a video last month, showing Shirley Klemmer among the rocks, which he has dubbed yoopers, on the coast of Lake Superior.
Since his discovery, Erik has been selling the rocks online and explained: “I was leading a tour of people who wanted to find yooperlites and I asked Shirley if I could film her. Once I posted it online, it just went berserk. Thousands of people were watching it.”
Erik added, “When I first discovered these rocks, I was elated. You could probably hear my screaming from 20 miles away. I didn’t even know what they were at first, so I just made up a name for them and went from there.”
He noted, “I’m just a regular everyday guy who collects rocks. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this many people would be interested in them.”
He found they would glowing during a night visit to the beach at night with a UV light last year, when he shined the light on the unique stones. He sells them for $32 a pound, receiving orders from around the world.
The discovery isn’t new, however, but UpNorthLive reports that Erik was the first person to bring them to geologists, who verified there is Sodalite in Michigan.
Geology.com notes that some minerals have a property known as “fluorescence,” which absorbs some light and later releases a small amount of light at a different wavelength.
Many people who commented on the Daily Mail’s coverage of the rocks remarked at how unique they are, with one person noting: “They are stunning! So beautiful.”
Another person, however, shared this local perspective: “my family is from the Lake Superior area. You are absolutely NOT allowed to remove pebbles from the beach to sell them. This is criminal.”
Among the many people who weighed in with comments on social media were those who remarked that perhaps they’ll have to go in search of these rocks now, as one person shared: “Nope, never seen anything like this. I have never done any rock hunting at night though. Just might have to get myself a black light and do some night hunting… I know I will!”
In response to the debate over whether these rocks should be left where they belong, one person remarked: “Why leave them? Nobody even noticed them before this guy did and now he is able to help himself make a living from it and let other people see them in person.”
Another commenter noted: “Rocks (minerals) that are fluorescent under ‘black light’ are very common.”