Man credited with discovering glowing rocks in Michigan: 'Yooperlite'

CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Mich. - A man in the Upper Peninsula is being credited with discovering a new kind of rock in Michigan - and it glows.

Erik Rintamaki, a "rock hound," told WPBN that last year, he decided to hit the beach at night with a UV light and came home with what he has dubbed "Yooperlites."

The rocks have an orange glow under certain UV lights.

“I actually sold a few to at Michigan Tech University, and they sent them out for testing and they contacted me through emails and told me I probably had something new that had never been found in Michigan before, and I ended up being published in the Mineral News in 2018 for that discovery," Rintamaki said to WPBN.

While "Yooperlite" is a fun name, geologists say syenite rocks are rich in fluorescent sodalite, which explains the glow.

“So what that is, is just a beach granite or basalt that has a fluorescent mineral in it called sodalite that they believe was brought down from Canada by glaciers," Rintamaki said to WPBN

Rintamaki has found dozens of the glowing rocks and has been selling them for $32 a pound. 

The glowing rocks can be found mostly on Lake Superior between Whitefish Point an Grand Marais, and on the Keweenaw Peninsula. 

If you're interested in buying a Yooperlite, or going on one of Erik's tours you can visit the Yooperlites Facebook page.

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