Mystery of seven-foot stone face found on B.C. island goes viral
It’s a born-in-B.C. mystery that has gone global.
A seven-foot stone face spotted in an outcropping of rocks near Ucluelet has been making waves worldwide, and that’s just fine with the local Tseshaht First Nation.
“It’s basically opens up eyes to shine light on the Tseshaht people, and the more positive light the better,” said Hank Gus. “It’s a little bit overwhelming, but it’s nice to see as well.”
Members say since a CTV News story on the mystery rock went viral, interest in the nearly seven-foot carving has poured in from around the world.
Nobody knows whether the distinct image was man-made or created by Mother Nature, but media across Canada, the U.S. and even Australia have been speculating on the mysterious discovery.
CTV Vancouver Island’s original Facebook post on the carving was shared nearly 600 times. Even the popular entertainment website BuzzFeed posted an article about it titled “A Face Mysteriously Appeared On A Cliff In Canada And No One Knows Why.”
“I was surprised at how much attention it was getting,” said Frederik Sieber, leader of the Tseshaht’s beachkeeper team. “This place here is largely unknown to a lot of people, probably. There’s a lot of regular kayakers; we’re getting more and more Americans coming up now.”
Sieber said he’s torn on where he thinks the carving came from, but he’s certain that his ancestors once laid eyes on the same spot.
“Tseshaht people must have seen it over thousands of years of being here, and they probably wondered the same thing that we’re all wondering right now,” he said.
The face was reportedly discovered in 2008, when a Washington State kayaker stumbled upon it while paddling in the area.
Gus said he searched for the site for two years and finally came across it a few weeks ago.
The face is found about 40 feet up from the water and is surrounded by rock cliffs, making it difficult to access.
Kayakers from the U.S. who were in the area Wednesday debated amongst themselves how the face was created.
“If I’m looking at the face that I see it’s kind of a nose and lips and a chin, sort of thing. Side profile,” said Bellingham, Wash. resident Mike Tomitz. ““It’s definitely not man-made. It’s probably nature. Maybe has some spirit behind it. It’s so beautiful it has to mean something.”
His kayaking partner Molly Ware was less certain about its origins.
“It’s an image of a face and it feels feminine to me. And it’s very clearly an image of a face, it’s quite noticeable,” she said. “I don’t know whether Mother Nature created it or somebody else…I’m just excited that we stumbled across it.”
Tseshaht First Nation and Parks Canada now say they’re trying to solve the mystery of how it got there, but Sieber the answer might not matter at all to tourists.
“It’s just amazing to see,” he said. “It’s just one of the many things to see out here in the Broken Group Islands.”
An estimated 300 recorded archeological or culturally significant attractions can be found in the chain of islands, located off the west coast of Vancouver Island, he said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island’s Jett Bassi