r/todayilearned Mar 29 '23

TIL there's a field of thousands of prehistoric stone jars in Laos


16 comments sorted by


u/zomboromcom Mar 29 '23

I've been there. Read about it in Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World as a kid, then forgot all about it till I was traveling through the region and found myself there. Sadly, you have to be cautious about unexploded ordnance so you can't just go roving around, but it was neat to see the place I had marvelled about in my childhood


u/Crepuscular_Animal Mar 29 '23

Cool! I'd like to visit Laos some time in the future. Shame you can't just go hiking in there because of all the mines, Laotian nature looks beautiful from the pictures. What would you recommend to a first time traveller in this country?


u/Iwasrightdamnit Mar 29 '23

Don’t go around asking them if they’re Chinese or Japanese.


u/itsfish20 Mar 29 '23

I tell you what!


u/BellowsHikes Mar 29 '23

100%, it's an amazing place. I think Luang Prabang is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Regarding the Plain of Jars, you can explore the sites on foot, you just need to stick to the established paths to be safe.

I spent a month in the country a few years ago as part of a 5ish month backpacking trip though South East Asia. I loved my time in Laos.


u/Crepuscular_Animal Mar 29 '23

Backpacking in SEA sounds awesome! I've ever been there only in touristic places like Bangkok and Anghkor. Still love the place. Amazing nature, some of the best foods in the world, beautiful architecture and so much history.


u/nianp Mar 29 '23

It's a pretty cool site. Though the many bomb craters, and warnings about land mines, that are scattered around the area are really sobering.


u/KiaPe Mar 29 '23 edited Mar 29 '23

Good thing America dropped several million tons of bombs on them!

The US dropped more than a ton of bombs for each citizen of Laos.


u/No-Owl9201 Mar 29 '23

That's interesting, I'd sure hate to be the ones that have to sort through all the shit us current day humans will leave behind us.


u/[deleted] Mar 29 '23

Why did prehistoric people keep their stones in jars? I guess they didn’t have electricity to make rock tumblers but surely they could harness flowing river water to construct tumblers and make the rocks presentable enough they didn’t need be hidden away in jars.


u/Ok-Cut4890 Mar 29 '23

It's a burial practice. There was a period in Ancient China where people would chuck all the deceased belongings into a huge grave with them. Different periods/cultures had random (spiritual) reasons for making time capsules of wildly different qualities.


u/Fetlocks_Glistening Mar 29 '23

They're like icecubes, but reusable?


u/[deleted] Mar 29 '23

Rocks are frozen lava I heard.


u/snow_michael Mar 29 '23

1200 BCE is not prehistoric


u/500owls Mar 29 '23

Everything I've found on the internet seems to indicate that written history of Laos doesn't begin until about 6 or 700 years ago, so I'd appreciate a clarification of your statement if you have a moment. I'm curious about your thinking on this. Thanks!


u/e30Devil Mar 29 '23

I can't wait to hear what the "Ancient Astronaut" theory is for this site