The Science and History Behind the Unbearable Masculine Urge to Throw Rocks Into Water

You’re on a bridge or ledge of some sort over a river. There’s a big pile of rocks. You know what you must do.

Every male-identifying person is familiar with the unbearable urge to catapult a small boulder into an unsuspecting body of water. What seems to be a mindless, compulsory activity, is actually deeply rooted in science, developed by millennia of human evolution. 

Since the beginning of time, us dudes have been throwing all sorts of rocks at all sorts of things. From the Stonehenge in England, discus throwing in Ancient Greece, and the Rolling Stones, the first world-known rock band, rock-throwing (not to be confused with stone skipping) is ingrained into our history as men. Cave paintings in the Isle of Man depict early human males chucking massive boulders at wooly mammoths and saber-tooth cats, along with one cave containing petroglyphic writings that roughly translate to “Me see rock, me throw.”

Perhaps one of the most historically significant rock-throwing events was George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River in 1776, which paved the way for America’s independence. What many tend to forget is the fact that Washington threw a large stone into the Delaware in order to crack the ice, paving a way for his boat to advance onto the battlefront and creating a totally awesome icy splash in the water for his homies in the boat to enjoy. This event is truly the cornerstone of American rock-throwing history.

To find the reason why this phenomenon is so, we can turn to the scientific study of male archetypes (not to be confused with horoscopes, which are meant for girls and are really stupid). Studies have found that males who identify under the label of “alpha” tend to throw rocks at a higher rate and weight capacity than other males who identify as “beta,” “sigma,” or “lambda.” While sigmas may be lacking in weight capacity, they make up in splash radius. As lone wolves, sigmas perform best when alone. Regardless of the benefits of each archetype, it is clear that all men want to make a splash.

To lob an ancient igneous mass into a body of water serves for many men as a physical representation of the mark they’ve made on this world. Rocks, as old as time themselves, can’t simply get up and walk to new locations on their own. How else do you think that mountains are formed? It is a locally known fact that Mount Everest was actually created by passing merchants tossing rocks from a nearby pile of rubble into a natural hot spring, where the rocks collided and fused together over the years, creating the world’s tallest mountain. Many dispute this claim by using “evidence” of the collision of tectonic plates causing mountains to form, despite that only being possible on a round world, whereas our Earth is clearly flat.

Despite the many different attitudes and methods taken towards rock-throwing, it is evident that hurling stones into water is an integral part of the male identity and even the history of mankind. The next time you find yourself near rocks and water, stay true to your natural instincts and don’t hold back.