Merchant Revolving Ball

In 1886 the Merchant family of Marion constructed what they thought would be a beautiful and fitting grave monument for their family burial plot in Marion Cemetery. Within two years after its construction, someone noticed that the 5,200 pound polished granite ball atop the pedestal had begun to rotate. The only unpolished spot on the ball was now visible, indicating the ball was on the move. The Merchant family, being concerned about this, brought the erection crew back to the site to re-set the ball. It was not long before the ball again began its now continuous movement. There have been many speculations, but there is no specific explanation for this.    In 1929, the monument was featured in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” a famous newspaper cartoon, and the monument has since gained international recognition.

Outside the ”Ripley’s Believe It or Not” Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, there is a water fountain mysteriously created in the image of this now famous family memorial.