Sand Spike

This giant 16 foot replica of a sand spike is built to appear similar to natural geologic items that appear as a bulbous base followed by a tail that tapers off into a point, with the pin-shaped, carbonate-cemented sandstone looking like a sort of spike trap, and are sometimes found more than a foot long. These puzzling and increasingly rare objects were once thought to be mineral concretions similar to Stalagmites and Stalactites, but are recently becoming more so associated as indications of strong tectonic activity, as they seem to become more common in partially water-saturated sands during strong earthquakes of magnitude 7 and greater.

Sand Spikes on Display

Image 1 of 4

These strange and mysterious objects have fascinated the hearts and minds of many over the years, with the Imperial Valley’s own Mount Signal being a historic hotspot for collectors of these elusive stones. Pioneers Museum holds a number of smaller Sand Spikes in our various exhibits for viewing, as well as this enlarged replica, contributed by artists Alan McCollum and Joanne Dutton. 1

  1. Past Perfect [1991.34.14]
    Past Perfect [2012.22.2673n]
    Past Perfect [2012.22.4007n]
    Past Perfect [2012.22.4008n]
    Past Perfect [2012.22.4009n]   ↩︎