Flatten the stone figures – of the sense and nonsense of the stone towers

Steinmännchenplage Steinmännchen, Kodak Ektar, Leica M Summiux 1.4 50 asph.

We know it: One does something and everyone does it. It’s like a herd instinct. Follow the other blindly without thinking. In doing so, you would do the environment a favor by occasionally considering how sensible it is what you are doing.

Flatten the stone figures – but with feeling

Now we are tourists ourselves and it is part of the desire to banish all other tourists. However, more and more tourists provide sustainable reasons to issue more and more bans and get more and more unwanted feedback – in this case from the senseless breeding of the oh so boring cairns.

Building cairns forbidden!

I didn’t want to believe it, but now the building of stone figures is officially prohibited in the Arctic Circle, if disregarded it can be really expensive. It would be noticeable that this is not just a question of limiting excessive boredom, but of preserving nature, orientation and the cultural landscape, if our society finally tried to think again.

The greatest favor that tourists from the countryside can do is: nothing to do. Just as our little children are already learning in the shop: look yes, touch no! Photographers stick to it, they come to the most deserted places and leave everything as it is. Only the selfi disciples don’t seem to understand this principle.

Why are there stone figures?

Stone cairns are an old form of trail marking in the field. Anyone who has hiked through the landscape and had to orientate himself will appreciate this form of signposting. And he would like to make cairn builders as flat as the illegal cairns themselves, if he gets lost because of them. In this case, such nonsense can be life-threatening for the hiker.

It may be that cairns are said to appease trolls in northern European countries. But statistically no attack by these quaint beings on humanity has been recorded. But in any case, the trolls are handed the official cairns from places where they belong.

Why the cairns are allowed to die out

One reason why the illegal cairns are allowed to disappear is already mentioned. The other reasons are short and quick.

On the one hand, the local cultural landscape, which is often under special protection, is being destroyed. It is not uncommon for tourists to be so blind to their surroundings that they grab historic stone piles such as graves or even borders and stone walls.

Even picking up and moving stones of any size can have fatal consequences. Because there are often animals under the stones that are important for the landscape and important for nature. From small insects to salamanders, which are suddenly unnecessarily disturbed and lose their home, their protection. On the other hand, small and large stones also cover roots that suddenly lose their hold due to being removed and are exposed to the sun without protection. These plants will die shortly afterwards.

How difficult it is to remove cairns again and how to do it yourself carefully

Stone cairns that are erected for fun, i.e. illegally, have to be laboriously removed. Simply knocking them over would be another harm. Stone cairns must be mined stone by stone and carefully distributed in nature. Grave fields often have to be reconstructed and stone piles laboriously repaired. Stone walls can become unstable and therefore require complex and tedious repairs.

The biggest help is to point out cairn fans to their nonsense and not to build cairn yourself.

And with this inflationary expression of stupidity and lack of creativity, it would be rather embarrassing to join the I- club of self-portrait photographers and thus show how many people had come up with the already worn-out idea before.

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