Mount Gandang, a mountain in the southwest region of China, has an interesting phenomenon that geologists, researchers, and locals have been observing for decades. Located in the province of Guizhou, the rocky walls of the base of the mountain include a cliff that locals refer to as “Chan Dan Ya,” Mandarin for “egg-laying cliff,” due to its ability to “lay” stone “eggs” every 30 years. But, where are they coming from?
The egg-laying mountain cliff is approximately six meters (20 ft) wide and 20 meters (65 ft) long, which is fairly small in comparison to the size of the entire mountain. About every 30 years, the small cliff “lays” a stone egg from its side. Once the stone egg is released from the cliff, it falls to the ground where it can be found by the first local who is lucky enough to stumble upon it.
This stone egg-laying phenomenon has been observed for hundreds of years. Locals in that region have heard tales of the egg-laying mountain since childhood, and most go to visit it and try to find a dropped stone egg once they are grown enough to do so. Of the stone eggs that have been retrieved, they range in size between 20 to 60 cm (7 to 24 in) each. They have a dark blue hue and are almost perfectly smooth, making them able to reflect the sunlight at certain angles once cleaned and polished. The largest of the stones have even been found to weigh over 600 pounds (272 kg)!
Rocks of Good Fortune Born of the Egg-Laying Mountain
The closest village to Chan Dan Ya is Gulu Village, an old region in Sandu Shui Autonomous County home to 250,000 Shui, which is over 60% of China’s Shui population. The Shui people are one of China’s 56 officially recognized ethnic groups, and they’ve been living in this region since before the Han Dynasty. Though the region itself is large, the Gulu village is actually quite small, having only a few dozen families calling it home.
The Shui name can be translated into the word “water,” a fitting representation considering their history of living by the waterside. Whether rivers or streams, the Shui people could be found living alongside them. At some point in history, several Shui communities were made to migrate to the mountains, where they currently remain while still retaining their love for the water. Their traditions, folklore, and other beliefs all revolve around the concept of water. Most of their clothing is dyed in shades of blue to match the color of the water. In fact, the Shui language was also developed with water in mind, as their language has ten different words meaning “fish.”