If you've ever been out hiking and have stumbled across a massive rock with holes dug out of them, you'd be forgiven for wondering what the heck could have caused such a thing. The holes are perfectly round, for the most part, and definitely don't appear to be part of the natural formation of the rock you're staring at. So what gives?

Here's the true story behind those weird big holes in rocks in the Texas panhandle.

Come to find out, and I'm sure there are those among us who knew this way before I decided to speak up, those holes aren't the sign of alien intelligence or some monster bug that burrows in to stone. The holes actually have a pretty interesting, human, origin.

They're called bedrock mortars. Bedrock mortar rocks are the ones you find that have these holes carved out of them, and they have quite the history.

These anthropogenic (big word for blame people) holes were used to grind up nuts, beans, grains, you name it. What I found most interesting is that they're also called gossip stones, by some. I'm sure you get the reason why.

People sitting around mashing up beans would get boring if you didn't talk about stuff. Similar in a lot of ways to working in an office space today.

There are several places in the Texas panhandle where you can find these rocks. One such place is at Pole Canyon Ranch, which is a private ranch that you can access for a small fee. As you can see from the post above from Nerdy Native, this rock is massive with several holes.

That's a lot of gossip going on.

There's also an excellent blog that was mentioned in the post on social media from Nerdy Native. I read through the blog and found out that while we do have several of these in the Texas panhandle, there are several that are suffering from either neglect, or less than adequate care.

Also, the weather has taken its toll on some of these historic sites.

Keep an eye out the next time you're hiking or just meandering on a trail somewhere. You might come across something that looks like a prop from a science fiction movie, but is instead a very special part of history.

Check Out These Photos Of Ghost Towns On The High Plains

Ghost towns dot the landscape of the Texas panhandle, Western Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma panhandle. The best part? They're all within driving distance. Go take a look for yourself.

25 Landmarks of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle

Is This The Legendary Cave Of Palo Duro Canyon?

I've heard rumors of caves in Palo Duro Canyon. Surely, this isn't all there is.