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Very Odd Luminescent Rock Found Along Michigan’s Shores

A life-altering discovery was made in June of last year by gem and mineral expert Erik Rintamaki.

During a late-night stroll along the edge of Lake Superior, he noticed pebbles that sparkled like lava using a UV light. He sent the “Yooperlites” to the universities of Saskatchewan and Michigan Tech, where it was discovered that the rocks were a kind of sodalite-containing syenite.

The sodalite, which is frequently found in Canada, is what gives the rocks their sparkling color. Although the rocks Rintamaki discovered were mostly granite or basalt, sodalite is often blue. Geologists claim that although these stones had potentially been found previously, this is the first time they have been thoroughly examined and verified.

Through his discoveries, Rintamaki has built a prosperous business. The 43-year-old Brimley native provides tours of the locations where the stones may be found and sells the stones he discovers for more than $30 a pound. His social media accounts are flooded with vacation photos and discoveries that his crew made.

The Michigan Upper Peninsula, sometimes referred to as “Yooper,” is where the Yooperlites were found, and Rintamaki named them after that location. These stones may be found throughout Michigan, and their emergence has been attributed to glacial migration.


Jackson White

Thank you for coming to The Ancientzen. My name is Ermal Shala, and I'm glad to have you here with us today. It's a dream come true for me to be able to research and write about history all day long.

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