Culture
Rock spiral in Xwejni Gozo delights & confuses locals... but what exactly is it?
We’ve come up with a couple of theories until we figure this mystery out

Caroline Curmi

Recent pictures of Xwejni, Gozo, have revealed a pretty interesting pattern formed on the limestone. Located close to the infamous salt pans, the large-scale spiral seems to have been created manually out of a combination of small rocks with pebbles balanced on top.

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While it is undeniably pretty, its existence is also quite perplexing. It is not clear how long the rock spiral has been there for, and less is known about who created it and the reason for its presence in the Xwejni area: is it just a decorative spiral or does it serve a purpose? While we strive to get to the bottom of this mystery, here are some light-hearted theories that could prove to be an explanation for Xwejni’s rock spiral...

1. The white walkers are coming

The first thing that comes to mind is the opening scene of season one’s Game of Thrones. Could the white walkers have survived after all?

2. Lowkey protest against MEPA

The person behind this seemingly spontaneous rock spiral pattern does not seem to have gone through the trouble of acquiring a permit for its construction. For all we know, it could be a very artsy and incredibly civil protest against the local planning authority.

3. Outlander Maltese version

A portal to another place and another time? For all we know, Xwejni's rock spiral could have the same properties of Outlander's Craigh Na Dun. All we’re missing is a Scottish hunk in a kilt now…

4. Spirit summoning

Many were quick to connect the spiral to questionable rituals. While we don’t take kindly to being possessed by a spirit, it could be the case that this is all part of a Shamanic ritual to ask for spirits’ help in order to achieve inner balance. Should try yoga if you ask me.

5. A film production in Gozo

Malta’s popularity with foreign film productions is at an all-time high and it could be possible that it was put there as part of a set, with either plans to return to it at a later stage or left there for the public to enjoy.

6. Someone’s mum took away their child’s domino set

Maltese mums can be quite tough, so we wouldn’t be surprised if one irate youngster marched off to find a natural replacement for a confiscated domino set?

7. Art or photography project

One of the more plausible theories is that it could have been erected for an art or photography project. By who, we are as of yet unable to say.

8. Someone was REALLY bored

There’s no denying that if this was assimilated by hand by just one individual, it would have taken a couple of hours at least. Ah, the things we do to escape boredom!

9. Crop circles (without the crops)

One of the most popular theories involves an alien invasion. Though the spiral does share a likeness with crop circles (apart from the obvious fact that it is built on limestone), we’re going to wait till other similar structures pop up around the Maltese islands before we jump to conclusions.

10. Visitor tradition

One Facebook user narrated a tradition carried on by visitors to the area where they each add a rock to the spiral, allowing it to grow bigger and bigger. Some have also suggested that this practise brings good luck to those who place a rock. Someone add ten and write my name on them stat!

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While the last theory seems to be the most logical explanation, we do not have a concrete answer as of yet. Guess we’ll have to wait to find out about the origins of this rock spiral!

Comment below with the theory number you believe is the correct explanation!


Caroline Curmi
Written by
Caroline Curmi
When she’s not having a quarter-life crisis, Caroline is either drawing in a café, frittering her salary on sushi or swearing at traffic in full-on Gozitan. There is also the occasional daytime drink somewhere in the equation. Or two. A creative must be allowed at least one vice.

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