Photo by Prescott National Forest

Park rangers and local citizens were left scratching their heads in confusion after a beloved 1-ton boulder known affectionately as “Wizard Rock” went missing from its resting place last month—and they were equally as surprised when it suddenly reappeared one week later.

The boulder, which has distinct stripes and swirls of white quartz running through it, is a common landmark in Prescott Basin, Arizona. When it suddenly disappeared from Prescott National Park, rangers say they have no idea how someone could have moved it without being caught.

Permits are required to gather and remove most forest products, including rocks and minerals, firewood, plants, and trees, but no permits were issued for the removal of Wizard Rock.

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Prescott rangers posted pleas to social media and local news outlets asking for the boulder’s return—then just as suddenly as it disappeared, it reappeared in its original spot one week later during Halloween night.

After a Prescott National Park employee discovered the boulder’s return the following morning, they celebrated its return and chalked the strange incident up to “magic”.

“We are thrilled the Wizard Rock was returned, and are grateful that whoever took it was conscientious enough to give it back to the public,” said Sarah Clawson, district ranger for the Bradshaw Ranger District. “National Forests provide so many benefits to the American people, and when something like this happens, it highlights the intrinsic value of natural beauty in all its forms.”

Photo by Prescott National Forest

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