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Petoskey stone (wikipedia.org)
113 points by curtis on July 24, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 35 comments

Fun fact: Claude Shannon, father of information theory, was born in Petoskey, MI [0]. He grew up not far away in Gaylord, MI, where you can now visit Claude Shannon park [1].

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Shannon

[1]: http://www.gaylordmichigan.net/member-37/claude-shannon-park...

See, you can bring up information theory in almost any context.

I am _so_ checking that out the next time we pass thru Gaylord!

I spent a lot of childhood summers in Gaylord, MI. I'm sure I've been to this park, but somewhat I recall mention of him elsewhere too.

By brother collected these as a kid living in Charlevoix and threw a bunch into Lake Champlain, nearly a thousand miles away, in the hopes of trolling some future geologist.

My brother does stuff like that.

This is fantastic.

I grew up in the small town of Petoskey, MI. You can indeed just walk down the shores of Lake Michigan and find these. People at local camps come and gather them one day and then spend the rest of their vacation polishing them in rock polishing stations and fashioning them into jewelry and stuff. All the gift shops sell Petoskey stone paper weights, knives, boxes, necklaces, Michigan-shaped Petoskey stones, you name it!

All the stuff I didn't know I didn't know that I get to know I didn't know on HN every single day. Thank you :)

About 45 years ago from TC, before they redid the lakefront area (? wasn't there a concrete/gravel plant? or was that Charlevoix), I found so many I couldn't carry them home. Is it still that way? Also, back when Consumer's energy was trying to make nuclear your friend, the Big Rock nuclear plant used to have a a very cool visitor's center with dioramas of the core and a cool cartoon movie theater IIRC. I got the comic book!

Is the Mole Hole still around.

Woah, random! I loved that place. The Petoskey location closed but they're operating in Sault Ste. Marie [1].

[1] https://www.themoleholeonline.com/history/

There was one in Barnegat Light, NJ - and i assumed it was named after the entrance in Petoskey

Small world; I grew up in Petoskey too. What year did you graduate?

I was a "fudgie." I spent 90% of my summers growing up in Petoskey.

All the way from Traverse City to Charlevoix is, indeed, very good and never crowded. Storms are good for stirring up the aluvial deposits to reveal new finds. Rubber boots will help if the temperature is significantly below freezing. Otherwise, I prefer barefoot with some local microbrews. The biggest one I found, about the size of an american football, was the one I stepped on. :)

I was there and found a few on Saturday. I try to make it to Petoskey at least once per year. Looking for these is one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.

They look like organically grown voronoi diagrams - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voronoi_diagram

My Mother has a bit of a fascination with these, going so far as to put a "rock shop" in her garage.

Here's a blurry image of one that she gave me (after I wore down the polish a bit). http://i.imgur.com/IhvgT.jpg

Serendipity! Just looking at a large one last night, here at my wife's parents house in Boyne City, found decades ago. (My mother in law grew up here.)

The craft fair in Boyne over the 4th of July is a good place to buy trinkets made with Petoskey stones like the ones in the shape of the state that someone else mentioned. We didn't make it there this summer, but stop by Kilwin's and Lake Street Deli for me!

Lake Street Deli is amazing, as is the Boyne City Bakery, run by a world class French baker.

We always used to go up to Torch Lake during summer when I was a kid. Collected a bunch of these. The easiest way to find them is to bring some water with you and go for a walk on a rocky road, and pour the water on likely rocks. The water makes the pattern much clearer and fewer people look for them on the roads.

Well this was a serendipitous post! My wedding anniversary is coming up and I wasn't sure what to get my wife. Thanks to this, I looked up 'Petoskey stone' on Amazon and found a pretty necklace for sale. Someday I'd love to visit Michigan and buy matching earrings/bracelet in person.

My grandparents retired on the eastern shore of the Leelanau peninsula, very near the town where the recently discovered 93 pound stone was found. We would walk the shoreline after a fresh rain to find these. They kept buckets full of them that they would give away to whomever wanted them.

I never realized how unique the stones were until I was in my 20s and discovered most people know nothing about them. The buckets are long gone and one of my biggest regrets is not having claimed any before my grandparents moved back down to southeast MI.

The even cooler part of these stones is that they often look totally plain when dried out, because the white coral pattern blends into the light gray of the stone. If you're walking the beach looking for them, you might have to pick up likely looking candidates and dip them in the water to darken the gray parts of the stone; every time is like a little lottery that you might win.

I've always found it fascinating collecting fossils.

Of course the rock is millions of years old, but the fact that it has the shape of a shell embedded in it from millions of years ago just makes the fact so much more real.

My Grandmother used to take me hiking along the northern shores of the lower peninsula of Michigan in search of these stones.

Spent many summers up at Glen Lake as a kid sanding and polishing these stones. Lots of fun.

Why a Wiki page of a stone on the front page of HN ?

Anything intellectually interesting is welcome here: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.

Wikipedia pages about predictable things are not interesting, but when the topic is uncorrelated with anything else, they're fine.

Probably because yesterday on reddit, this article was trending: https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/6p1iwi/til_a...

("TIL A Michigan rock collector found an impressive 93 lb. Petoskey stone in Lake Michigan in 2015, only to have it promptly confiscated by authorities. The stone violated a Michigan law that states no more than 25 pounds of rocks or minerals can be taken from the Great Lakes per year.")

I'm guessing that someone reading that reddit post found the phenomenon interesting and submitted its Wikipedia page to news.ycombinator.

That is exactly right. I'd never heard of Petoskey stones before, found them pretty interesting, and I figured many people on HN would think the same.

I'll send you one if you'd like to see one in person. DM me at @taylorbuley

Because it is, you know, interesting.

It was upvoted there. Reader curation.

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