Beli Plast, Bulgaria

Stone Mushrooms of Beli Plast

Forrest Mallard

Rock formations caused by water erosion were once said to be the remnants of decapitated maiden’s heads.





Stone Mushrooms of Beli Plast

According to Legend

According to a legend, a charcoal burner named Raduil lived in the Perperikon fortress with four beautiful daughters. One sunny morning they went outside the town walls to bring water, but as the walked away from the fortress they saw a great horde approaching to attack. They ran back to the fortress and a violent, uneven battle started; many men were killed, and most of the women were captured, including the daughters of Raduil were among them. The daughters were then offered to the leader of the attacking army as he sat on a magnificent horse. The commander was about to pick the most beautiful one for himself and then sell the others into slavery.

Fury gripped the hearts of the girls as they approached. Then all at once, they exploded in rage, grabbing whatever they could – sticks, stones, dirt – and began hurling them at their captor. The horse became spooked and reared on its hind legs throwing the commander to the ground. The four sisters converged on the man and ripped him apart until he was no more, and then fled into the forest.

The commander’s most trusted guard ran after the girls to avenge his friend. He pursued the girls for a full day and finally caught them. Swinging his sword wildly with exhaustion, and sliced off the head of the first daughter. As it fell to the ground it turned into a stone mushroom. The same happened with the second and third sisters.. but before he could sever the head of the last girl, she turned to stone in front of his eyes. Terrified, the guard turned to flee, but as he took his first step, he turned into a large black stone.

In Reality

Not as interesting as the legend.

These stones once sat on a shallow lakebed and over millions of years the water eroded the bottom part of the rocks. Once the water receded, viola, we have stone mushrooms.


By Forrest Mallard

By Forrest Mallard

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