Mysterious extraterrestrial minerals discovered in the Sahara


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/30/mysterious-extraterrestrial-mi.html


#2

Libyan desert glass has been around since the time of the Pharaohs, and the ancient Egyptians sometimes carved scarabs from it. It’s commonly believed to be the remnants of an airburst meteor detonation that melted the sand and embedded microscopic bits of the meteor in the melted glass, but didn’t leave any large chunks of the meteorite laying about. I didn’t know the Hypatia meteorite was associated with that field; I will need to check on that.


#3

Unique chemistry of a diamond-bearing pebble from the Libyan Desert Glass strewnfield, SW Egypt: Evidence for a shocked comet fragment

Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume 382, 15 November 2013, Pages 21-31

“We propose that the Hypatia stone is a remnant of a cometary nucleus fragment that impacted after incorporating gases from the atmosphere. Its co-occurrence with Libyan Desert Glass suggests that this fragment could have been part of a bolide that broke up and exploded in the airburst that formed the Glass. Its extraordinary preservation would be due to its shock-transformation into a weathering-resistant assemblage.”


#4

UHHHH. Even if it was an earth bound rock it would be a hell of a lot older than the pharaohs.


#5

Isn’t “mysterious meteor impact in Africa” also the canonical source of both Vibranium and at least one component of Adamantium?


#6

Maybe I should clarify that, as in LDG has been around since at least the time of the Pharaohs. According to Wikipedia, it was formed 26 million years ago.

I have a thumb-sized piece of it, satiny smooth and pale yellow. It has the same patina as beach glass, but finer, from millennia of sandblasting.


#7

Vibraneum yes, multiple meteor impacts I think. Cause the Savage land has it as well.

Adamantium I don’t think so. Both Marvel and Wikipedia list its ingredients as “resins” and “secret”. Though I vaguely recall at some point Vibraneum being a component. So MAYBE.

Also I’m much more excited about this article all the sudden.


#8

I remember that Wolverine origin movie had a subplot about the Weapon X team acquiring a rare meteorite as a precursor for making adamantium but that may not be canonical in the comics.


#9

It occurs to me that, if microscopic bits of the meteor are in fact found in pieces of LDG, they should be comparing them to the Hypatia meteorite to confirm if they are from the same cause. There are a lot of places where multiple meteorites have fallen and mingled: Northwest Africa, washes and dry lakes in the SW US, Antarctica.


#10

unlikely to have been modified by shock such as collision with the Earth’s atmosphere or surface…

So somebody set them down gently from space? Millions or billions of years ago? I can only think of one conclusion, and it’s spelled von Daniken,


#11

Cool! Can you get more?


#12

It’s not hard to come by, since it was produced by the metric ton. There are a number of pieces for sale on ebay, and also through dealers in meteorites and tektites.


#13

That movie was awful! But yeah I dunno if that was vibraneum or not. The X-men movies are made by fox, who don’t have the rights to mention things like vibraneum. Anything outside X-men or fantastic four really.

But that kind of shit happens all the time in the comics. So who knows. I definitely remember something about vibraneum and adamantium. Adamantium being the only successful synthetic attempt to out do vibraneum. And what have.


#14

I thought you might have an “in”. I have two iron meteorite fragments and a Tektite.


#15

I had heard rumors that she was making a comeback…


#16

Spoiler: Earth hasn’t always had an atmosphere


#17

And parts of it still don’t. According to Trip Adviser, Canberra has little to no atmosphere.


#18

They’re not wrong - I spent a weekend in Canberra once.

Once.


#19

I am sure Hypatia - who was literally torn apart at the hands of fundamentalist Christians - would be glad to know that her name continues to be one that rattles the common understanding of things.


#20

So now we have the kernel of plot of a:

  1. Part 3 of a GI Joe cartoon miniseres
  2. Chulhu mythos story “Demon of the Sahara!!!”
  3. Action film involving dune buggies, horses, and people running around in desert camo looking to be the first ones to find the mysterious rock
  4. Superhero origin story. “Sirocco-Wind of the Desert!”
  5. Horror film, uncovering the meteor raises a dead Afrika Corp unit buried in the sands!!!