To the naked eye, “Yooperlites” look like any other boring gray rock. However, the rock contains something called “sodalite” which causes it to gleam with fluorescence when a UV light is shined on it.
The rock got the name from Erik Rintamaki, the man who first found them in 2017. He named them that as a nod to the nickname ¨Yooper,¨ given to those who live in Michigan’s upper peninsula. The rock was found on the beaches of Lake Superior, and was the first confirmed case of sodalite in Michigan.
Erik has since started a business selling the rocks and guiding tours on how to find them. Rockhounding has always been a fun Michigan pastime, and searching for Yooperlites is a fun addition to the hobby.