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South Point rock one for the ages

SOUTH POINT —Bill Gaskin is amused by all the attention that one big rock can bring.

The South Point mayor said a mysterious rock found after a recent rockslide on old U.S. 52, just above the railroad bridge, has interested a lot of people.

The rock, about 4-foot-by-4-foot, was found embedded in sandstone when crews were removing debris. “It just rolled out,” when workers started breaking up the larger stone with machinery, the mayor said.

The rock was gingerly moved to an area in front of the South Point Police Department, where it has remained for the past few months. It wasn’t until recently that curiosity got the best of Gaskin and he decided to call in professionals to get their opinion as to what the mysterious mass could be.

“I didn’t really know that it would stir up this kind of attention,” Gaskin said with a laugh. “A lot of people are really interested in it.”

Bob Culp and Dave Lucas, professors at Ohio University Southern, as well as crews from Marshall University and other geologists and wildlife and nature professionals have been called in to offer their expertise. Gaskin said samples were taken earlier this week and could yield some clues.

There have been a few theories, but Gaskin said he believes it’s a prehistoric rock.

“I can’t pronounce what they told me they thought it was,” he said. “It had one of those big, long names.”

Gaskin said he was told that similar rocks have been found along the West Virginia Turnpike, but they were much smaller, measuring about the size of a basketball.