– Nature has a funny way of telling us there is still a lot we don’t know about the world around us.
The Old Man’s curious behavior resulted in several scientific studies. The tree trunk can travel miles in a single day. One day it can be close to the shore and the newt day it’s in the middle of the lake.
In the 1930s, the government commissioned a study of his movements. In their “log of the log,” Rangers observed the Old Man move more than 60 miles in less than 3 months. This was not a very good idea though.
In the 1980s, Mark Buktenica, an aquatic ecologist for the National Park in Southern Oregon was part of a submarine exploration of Crater Lake. To avoid running into the Old Man out in the water, they tied him up on the shore. Bad idea!
What is truly intriguing about the Old Man of the Lake is that the tree trunk has been floating upright ever since, standing about 1.2 meters (4 feet) tall above the surface. “You would think that the 4-foot above the water would act as a little sail, but sometimes he’ll move all the way across the lake against the wind,” Buktenica said.
Though the Old Man of the Lake has been floating in Crater Lake in southern Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park for at least the past 120 years, carbon dating suggests that it is at least 450 years old.
Scientists think the higher density of the submerged part is keeping it balanced. Basic physics states that a floating object of uniform density will always have its center of mass as being higher than its center of buoyancy. That means a long log will float with its axis in a horizontal orientation, and a short log will float vertically.
All across the world there are a number of natural formations that defy physics. Another example is an intriguing structure that can be found in India. Known as Krishna’s Butter Ball, or the mysterious stone of sky god this 250 ton rock stands on less than 4 feet base. How is it possible?