In the Israeli Golan Heights, near Wasset Junction, is a fascinating and unique geological site. At that spot, if one places a compass on top of the basalt rock, the compass ‘goes crazy’ and points in different directions. What is the explanation for this strange behavior?
The world is surrounded by a magnetic field. Certain magnetic minerals in rocks can preserve the direction and intensity of Earth’s magnetic field. The study of ancient geomagnetic data is called paleomagnetism. Once in hundreds of thousands, or millions, of years, Earth’s magnetic field reverses direction. If during that period a volcanic eruption occurs, the magnetic direction of the earth is recorded in the mineral layers of the lava. It is possible that this rock in the Israeli Golan Heights attests to a period of magnetic reversal of our planet. Or, alternatively, lightning striking the lava may have changed the mineral composition of the rock.