In summer of 2017, a few Central Arkansans had an interesting idea: to paint rocks like Easter Eggs and leave them in their communities for other people to find. Fueled by social media posts by residents who find these curiosities, other residents began posting pictures of the painted rocks they found and others got the idea to paint and hide rocks of their own.
Before long local and state news media posted stories on the hobby and people all over the state started painting their own rocks. Many contain simple messages such as “adopt” or “hide again”, and many are elegant works painted on the small surfaces of these rocks.
The Rock Hunts are particularly popular in Central Arkansas where residents often complain about the lack of things to do for fun. Other citizens counter that these complaints are not entirely fair; these communities often have bars, libraries, movie theaters and natural attractions. Even so, Arkansans in more rural areas often get creative about making their own fun. Local papers frequently feature stories of Arkansans with unusual collections such as people who’ve collected bottle caps for decades, or curiosities such as a few motorists who claim they’ve used the same car battery for 10 years or more.
But the Rock Hunt is unique in that it caught on state wide very quickly and purely through the use of social media. Although some reckoned the Rock Hunt to be a fad, groups of rock painters and hunters are still very active a year later hiding rocks around their towns and posting locations on social media.