Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Weird Travel News: Oregon Coast Beaches That Make Odd Noises, Video

Published 03/27/2015

Weird Travel News: Oregon Coast Beaches That Make Odd Noises, Video

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials when beaches reopen
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Lincoln City:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Newport:
Look for major specials when beaches reopen
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials coming when beaches open
In Yachats, Florence
Big specials coming; lodgings not listed anywhere else

(Oregon Coast) – One of the more mysterious delights of the Oregon coast is an unknown little wonder called “magic rocks” on some beaches. On just a handful of spots – and it depends on tidal conditions – you'll hear a surreal rattling noise come from the rocks.

It’s as if the tides momentarily gives them life, as they shimmy, shake and shudder while making an almost chirping sound, like giant Mexican jumping beans that have grown to freakish size and now inhabit the tideline.

You have to have large, rounded cobblestones at the tideline to do it. The water bounces them around and causes them to clatter against each other, but in this rather smile-inducing rush of pops, rattles and clicks that sounds, well, magical.

The term "magic rocks" actually comes from a nickname the locals have given to a beach just south of the Arch Cape Tunnel - one that's almost completely made up of these polished stones, and where the sound is almost continuous. They call it "Magic Rocks Beach,” and it is unusual in other ways as well.

Here the noises in this video:

On the northern edge of Oswald West State Park, right after you emerge from the Arch Cape Tunnel, look for Falcon Cove Road. At the end of this winding, twisting neighborhood road, you'll find this delightfully odd beach. It is a residential district, so you’ll want to be respectful here as you park near a somewhat slippery, muddy beach access.

If the tide isn't touching the rocks it won't happen, but it does a little more than 50 percent of the time.

Most such spots are on the north Oregon coast, and almost none of them do it as much as here at Falcon Cove Road. Newport's Yaquina Head, however, has just such a spot, and it does it almost all the time.

You can't always get close enough, however, because tidal conditions get too dangerous down there.


In Newport, it's called Cobble Beach and it's a long walk down only one stairway. It's of course, even longer coming back up. It's also home to a lot of surreal, huge grains of black sand, adding to the otherworldly feel of the place. (Seen above).

The tiny village of Cape Meares (the neighborhood located just beneath the cape of the same name) also hosts this feature. The town's middle and northern beach accesses are where it happens. During most of winter and at higher tides you'll hear it here. In fact, at Cape Meares it's absolutely the loudest of all the magic rock beaches of the Oregon coast.

There's some interesting geology behind these unique and noisy features.

Tom Horning, a geologist in Seaside, said these stones usually come from nearby headlands. Which is why most magic rock beaches are next to some sort of headland or another.

The sizes of the stones differ from place to place, making different kinds of noises and higher or lower decibels.

“The size of the rock is an indicator of the energy of the water and size availability of the rock in the first place,” Horning said. After they fall from headlands, the tides and currents move them around.

“As the rocks are transported along, they jostle and grind against each other, becoming rounded,” Horning said. “It takes only a few months in the surf to round most rocks. Some rocks come from source areas (cliffs and mountainsides) where fractures are abundant. They start as fractured rock and can fall apart quickly in the surf, forming small rocks. Other rocks begin as large, unfractured stone, so they resist breaking apart to smaller pieces, leaving a deposit of large boulders. Nature takes what is available and makes what is possible.”

Other places you may spot them: Arch Cape near Canon Beach has some of this if the tide is right, as does the southern end of Strawberry Hill, near Yachats.

It's important to keep beach safety in mind here. The tidelines at these spots are especially dangerous if it's happening as you have the added issue of possibly slipping on these rocks and getting sucked into the ocean. Luckily, you can get close to view it and hear from a short – but safe – distance. Oregon Coast Hotels in these areas - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours

More of these spots below:

Arch Cape

Cape Meares

Oregon Coast Lodging

 

 

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss

 



Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Razor Clamming Resumes on South Central Oregon Coast
All areas of the Oregon coast from the Columbia River southward to Cape Arago. Sciences
Washington / Oregon Coast: Gray Whale Carcass Strands at Long Beach
Seaside Aquarium responded to a beached whale on the southern Washington coast, discovering a 37-foot male Gray whale
Oregon Coast Unexplained Part Two - Almost Paranormal
Ghost tales and creepy discoveries in Seaside, Cannon Beach, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Coos Bay, Pacific City, Manzanita
Don't Kidnap Wildlife, Say Oregon and Coastal Officials
Visitors are getting outside just in time to encounter newborn fawns, elk and other kinds of wildlife. Sciences
When the Oregon Coast Is Stranger Than Fiction: the Unexplained (Part One)
It all started with weird science, veered into ghost stories for awhile, now it's back to more remarkable science
More Oregon Coast Cancellations Include July 4th, Shore Acres Lights
Some as far out as December already getting the ax. Weather
State Parks Begin Opening Limited Camping, Including Oregon Coast
Most of these open June 9, but some are available now. Lodging news, travel tips. Sciences
Officials Seek Public Input on N. Oregon Coast Fish Passage Issues
Three culverts that failed on the northern half of the Oregon coast have triggered emergency conditions. Lincoln City, Tillamook, Manzanita, Nehalem

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details