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New guy here. Found a VERY strange rock and would like some input, please.


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Hello all. As I said, I’m new here and am trying to gather some info about a rock I found.

It has been examined by at least five Ph.D.'s in geology, including four at Missouri State University and one from the world famous Fantastic Caverns, none of which have ever seen anything like it. Ever.

I acquired it during new house construction in the Ozark Mountains, where it was uncovered from about eight feet under the surface.

As I said, it has been examined very closely by experts and has baffled them all. The only information I have been able to gather is that the "rock" consists of a surface layer of chert, under that is a complete mystery. The professors at Missouri State are sure it's not a geode because of its size to weight ratio, and they don’t think there is any chance that it is a common chert nodule. They speculate that the object has a metallic core. However, due to its extremely high density, they were unable to x-ray it so no one can be sure. Cutting it open seemed like a simple solution to me, but the University did not have adequate equipment to do it. I was told that using their equipment, it might take two years to get through it.

One geologist took a sledge hammer to it and was able to get a chip off of it, that's how he knew the outer layer was chert. It may sound strange, but when the chip came off, I remember it having a very distinct and unusual smell.

The black mark on the rock came from a gas powered masonry saw with a diamond blade. A new Wal-Mart was being built in my area, and I noticed one of the workers cutting re-bar reinforced concrete, so I stopped and asked if he would try to cut my find open. I watched a diamond blade burn on this rock. It made a rut, maybe a millimeter deep, but the blade was destroyed.

There has been a lot of speculation that this is a meteor. It does share a lot of characteristics with known meteors. The very smooth "top" coupled with the overall "melted/peeled back" shape suggests the high temperatures associated with entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Anyways, I've included the very limited info I have, and was interested to know what you fine people thought. I'm really needing money to finish school, as I am only three semesters from graduation, so I have been thinking about selling it but don't know what it's worth. Any thoughts on that would be greatly appreciated as well. I will attempt to include pictures at the end of my post.

Happy hunting out there, thank you for looking, and God bless.

P.S. The dimensions of this rock are 6.75" in diameter and a total weight of 18.01 lbs.

post-21860-1232915263_thumb.jpg

post-21860-1232915309_thumb.jpg

post-21860-1232915333_thumb.jpg

post-21860-1232915360_thumb.jpg

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As I am new here and have never been a member of any forum before, I don't really know how to get good pictures to show up. I did, however, create a photobucket account and have uploaded the pics there. The URL's are as follows:

http://s607.photobucket.com/albums/tt159/r...nt=101_0344.jpg

http://s607.photobucket.com/albums/tt159/r...nt=101_0346.jpg

http://s607.photobucket.com/albums/tt159/r...nt=101_0348.jpg

http://s607.photobucket.com/albums/tt159/r...nt=101_0351.jpg

http://s607.photobucket.com/albums/tt159/r...nt=101_0352.jpg

http://s607.photobucket.com/albums/tt159/r...nt=101_0354.jpg

http://s607.photobucket.com/albums/tt159/r...nt=101_0357.jpg

http://s607.photobucket.com/albums/tt159/r...nt=101_0358.jpg

http://s607.photobucket.com/albums/tt159/r...nt=101_0361.jpg

http://s607.photobucket.com/albums/tt159/r...nt=101_0343.jpg

I am very interested to know what you guys think, so feel free to email me at ramsey_al@yahoo.com if you would like to estimate its value or even shoot me an offer for it.

Thanks again.

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Hi Al, I doubt that it's a meteorite. To me it looks like a painted (white washed) cannonball! That's my two cents.

Jim

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Hi Alan,

You've come to the right place for a general opinion on meteorwrong or meteorite! This is a very knowledgeable group with tons of experience.

I gotta say that doesn't look much like a meteorite. My first inclination was a cannonball too, though it didn't seem heavy enough. It also looks like it could be a concretion of some sort. I decided to forward your description to an old pro when it comes to rocks. He's a friend of mine here in Michigan and has been at it a long time, not much the old timer hasn't seen. Here's his unabridged reply. Got thick skin?

"Interesting problem. Chert on the outside of an artifact or meteor

doesn't make a lot of sense.

If I have done my math right, that is 2,638 cubic centimeters and 8,169

grams, or a density of 3.097 grams/centimeter cubed, which matches up

with Ferric Sulfate. Iron from a cannonball would have been more than

twice as dense.

I could believe finding a pyrite ball in chert. I've got a similar

sized one from Marion County, West Virginia, in my collection

(limestone instead of chert for the matrix). An odd smell when striking

it with a hammer would make sense if it were pyrite.

None of the photo links worked for me. They all came up photo not found.

If I was trying to identify the specimen I would have tried to drill or

core a small sample, and tested the bits I got out.

I'm discounting the story of five PhD Geologists as I suspect they were

working from a description and not the actual specimen; the diamond

blade just had too much pressure for the diameter (it was designed for

rebar under an inch).

I'll put my bet on a somewhat unusual pyrite nodule. I can buy similar

sized pyrite nodules for about $20.

I hope my guess helps.

Cheers!" Unquote

Again, not my words.

I hope this helps you ID your mystery rock.

You never mentioned, does it stick to a magnet?

Good Luck!

Larry

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Hello Al,

Welcome to the Forum!

Your rock looks Terrestrial to me but I am no expert. the folks on this forum are very knowledgeable and will be able to give you a much better idea.

Good luck Al, I hope it turns out to be from space.

Dean

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Hi Al, I see absolutely nothing in your pictures that convince me that's a meteorite, so most likely it's terrestrial. I'm certainly no expert at identifying rocks but that looks a lot like the Galena I find out here in California at one of the goldfields I hunt. Here's a pic of an uncleaned 7.8 oz chunk I found a few months back-

IMG_0835.jpg

Hope this helps!

Del

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I am convinced that what you have is not a meteorite, cannon ball, pyrite or a chunk of galena. Smacking a chunk of galena or pyrite with a sledge hammer will result in a pile of pieces and any diamond blade will slice through galena and pyrite like butter. If it has an iron core, most machine shops have a metal cutting band saw that will cut most metal as well as iron meteorites. If it is of an agate nature, most anyone with a large lapidary saw could slice through it.

I would take the specimen and grind an area down until the surface material is removed, chert will grind off quite easily with a carborundum wheel, once the interior is exposed, it can then be determined if what you have is metal or country rock. If it is iron, it will draw a magnet.

Also keep in mind that any industrial concrete and re-bar cutting diamond blade can be ruined if it is allowed to run dry with to much force. Intense heat is created when a diamond blade is forced, the diamonds shatter and are stripped from the blade. The grove on that specimen looks like the metal from the blade has been burned onto its surface. The smallest 12" blade runs about $300 for a good one, I would bet that the worker that you mentioned, did not inform his boss of the story. Diamond blades are usually designed for a specific purpose, concrete blades are not designed to cut agate and lapidary blades are not for cutting concrete and re-bar. They can be substituted on occasion, but extreme care must be taken.

Jim

P.S. If in doubt about the cannonball theory, do not hit it again with a sledge hammer. :Huh_anim]:

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Here is a nodule found at a KS indian dig. This might be what you found. I have personally seen them in Boone co., Mo.

nodule

A naturally occurring piece of chert or similar chippable stone (G47). Once flakes have been removed from a nodule, we call it a core.

G47%20nodule.jpg

oolitic

Refers to a limestone or chert that is rich in small round particles called oolites. These bodies consist (before chert formation) of particles that have become coated with lime and rolled by water action, making them spherical. Nehawka chert is often quite oolitic

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No expert here on the rock, but I doubt if the rebar cutting blade that was used was diamond. It was probably one of those black abrasive blades. At best, it may have been a blade with carbide teeth, but those are mostly used for cutting steel studs and aluminum plate stock. Any lapidary should be able to either put a window or slice on it......... :twocents:

OOPs I shoud have read it better........... cutting concrete........ if it has some sort of watercooling source then maybe diamond blade it was.. so discount my idea!

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I'd have to agree with all the comments given. Even though it looks like a baby Jupiter I doubt if it's from other than our Earth. Most quarts like rock have a hardness factor of around 7. Whereas Diamonds have a hardness factor of 10. I'm sure that a Diamond impregnated blade will cut this stone but it has to be cooled and progress at a slow forward speed. I use to cut concrete and re-bar with diamond blades but they ran with a constant flow of water. Industrial blades will work very well on gems and meteorites but they are a thicker blade and you will lose a lot of your specimen to the cut. We had a 48" blade that we used to cut Jade with. Not sure of the hardness of Jade but I think it's around 4 or 5 at the most. Folks would come to the office for cut's to make table tops...

Best wishes in finishing your schooling.... :coffeetime:

jim "bones" :outtahere:

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Very interesting piece you have . I would not hesitate to follow PALEFACE'S idea and get thru the outewr coating to expose the internal material.

If it were mine I would have done that already and then see if a good quality magnet is attracted to it.

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Hi All

I've always heard of these but never actually seen one :WOW: !! WOW :whoopie: !!! It's definatly not a space rock :Huh_anim]: !! It just could be one of those infamous rollerite :innocent0002: !! Kinda like a leaverite but you roll it instead :hmmmmmm: . For you newbies a Leaverite as in leave er it there :laught16: !! Rollerite as in roll er rite there :laught16::laught16: !! I Think :confused0013: !! Drill 3 holes in er and get some use outa that baby :shrug: !! Happy Huntin John B.

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Hello all. Wow. I really appreciate all the ideas, opinion, and suggestions. I have been really busy at work and have just now read through all the posts and have been really impressed by some of the suggestions. But, to be honest, I feel I need to clarify a couple of things because of some replies. I work at Missouri State and live 15 minutes from Fantastic Caverns. At LEAST five PhD’s have examined it along with countless grad students and enthusiasts. When I use the term "examined" I mean they have physically held it, weighed it, compared it to know samples, and done everything possible without significantly harming it. What I wrote in the original post is what has happened so far. Concerning the pictures, has anyone else had trouble viewing them? As I said, forums and photobucket are new to me and maybe I messed it up. Just let me know and I'll re-post the addresses if anyone’s interested. The pictures are real and not altered in any way.

I looked through a lot of forums before I decided to join and post on this one. I did so because I read through a lot of discussions and found that this was by far the most knowledgeable group and knew I could put value in the opinions I gathered here. I am just a guy trying to figure out what this is and if it has any value. I am not attempting to deceive anyone about anything.

There have been a lot of interesting ideas put out there. One person mentioned the term ‘iolite’ and I remember one professor saying it had huge iolite-looking structures. (You can see them in the pictures as gray spots.) He said that he had never seen anything like it. He was also very intrigued by the fact that it doesn’t have any flat spots on it. The rock is non-magnetic. Everyone that has seen it in person has mentioned the very smooth top with the layers that look to be melted and pushed towards the bottom. Most of you have said it’s not a meteorite. Are these pretty confident no’s or just ‘probably not’s’?

My area of Missouri has been hit with a pretty good ice storm and I am supposed to go to the Missouri State Center for Archaeological Research tomorrow. If I am able to go, I will update again.

I hope that I haven’t offended anyone in my post. I realize I am new here and don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers. Thanks again for all the ideas and if this new info sparks any new ones please let me know. Also, one person said he could buy one of these for $20, if anyone else would like to throw out a value for it I would really appreciate it.

-missouri_al

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Most of you have said it’s not a meteorite. Are these pretty confident no’s or just ‘probably not’s’?

Al I hate to tell you this but without a doubt that's not a meteorite. Everybody that has posted here has found their fair share of them out in the field and you can trust their input. So you can say they're all very confident no's, especially if it's non-magnetic.

Del

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missouri_al

Please,

DOES A METAL DETECTOR SOUND OFF WHEN IT IS SCAN OVER IT (outside on the lawn) ?? (Depending on what metal detector-s you use, look at the VDI number-digital readout number and write it-them down and tell us.)

DOES A (larger sized) MAGNET ATTRACT TO IT ??

(Go to a geology department at a University or contact NASA as well.)

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Thank you, Paseclipse. Although it is disheartening to find out its terrestrial, it is good to have an answer. Have you ever encountered anything like this? What I’m getting at is do you think this is anything special? My hopes are that this is something that will fetch a respectable amount, but then again I guess that’s always the hope for a find of any sort, lol.

Thanks again,

missouri_al

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Goldstonehigh,

I don’t know the answers to your questions at the moment, but I am going to the Missouri State Center for Archaeological Research tomorrow (weather permitting) and will do my best to get them. I will update as soon as I find out. These are really good questions, and have me wondering myself….lol. I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you,

missouri_al

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missouri_al, you might practise "show me" that is why you can't answer the questions. Also use a Gieger Counter and see if it has any radioactive isotopes, heheheha.

But seriously though, YES please update us ASAP on your findings. Also try putting a 1) Compass near it as see if it effects the needle?

Remember, a 2) Metal Detector and 3) Magnet also.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The dark "burn" marks from the saw blade would lead me to believe the blade used was a "cut off" blade and not a diamond blade. A diamond blade will rarely leave dark burn marks on anything, especially, on the very surface like in the photos. This I say being a contractor who has spent hundreds of hours cutting with both blades. Contractors do not use a diamond blade to cut pig iron rebar. They use chop off blades because they cost 1/1ooth as much. Diamond blades are reserved for masonry cutting. IF the blade was indeed a chop saw "burn" away blade and not a diamond saw blade, the metal left in the groove becomes very interesting because it would be a very rare thing for the chop saw blade blade to leave such a metal streak.

The lack of thumb prints on a meteorite that size is pretty unusual.

The lack of the "coating" having any fine cracking from cooling is also odd.

The coating that is mentioned to have "flow" lines shows waves, when you would think they should radiate in a specific elliptical pattern with a specific starting point. Yes the rock could have been tumbling on entry, but as it tumbled, the rear would cool as the front would heat, all and all, making it less likely to have flow lines, never mind that these that are so apparent. Generally meteorites that show lots of flow lines fall without tumbling, which allows for the Front of the meteorite to achieve the high temperatures needed for melting to occur.

Now, I am no expert, and I honestly don't think anyone can say with any definite certainty a rock is not a meteorite from just photos, so further testing would be a very good idea.

If one looks at the photos of the thousands of known meteorites on the online catalog of meteorites, it becomes quite easy to find a photo that looks like just about any rock you could pick up, anywhere. Just because it looks like a meteorite doesn't make it one, and yours doesn't even look like one to me, but I am pretty new to this myself.

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Its definitely metamorphosed sedimentary rock, you can clearly see the strata (layers).

A cobble stone of what once was.

It's definitely a good example of foliation.

deformmeta.gif

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