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Bedrock Bob

Moqui Marbles or Milagro Mudballs?

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What is the definition of a “Moqui Marble”?

I have something very similar and I am trying to research them. I have collected strange concretions for years and I have found a spot that yields these things that have been weathered out of a thin strip of sandstone. Concretions are common and spherical concretions seem to be the favorite shape. These are from the southern terminus of the Sangre De Christo range.

Here is a hand full I picked up yesterday evening.

Here is a broken one. Just like a Moqui Marble! Maybe sandier than the hard, black hematite Moquis.

And here is the fatty. A 2” sphere.

And the concretion above looks strikingly similar to a “petrified eyeball” that I found recently, 400 miles away. The concretion process must be similar although formed from 2 completely different types of sedimentary rock at two different time periods. Many spheres have a “pupil”. Why?

The one I am holding is fine grained chert. The ones in the pan are sandstone. Both have eyes! Look at all the eyes looking up in that pan!

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I found this:

Moqui Marbles (also known as Shaman Stones or Thunderballs) are sedimentary concretions. They form as sediments are laid down at the bottom of bodies of water. The moqui marbles have harder minerals than the normal sediment. The sediment layers then turn to sandstone. When the sandstone erodes away, the marbles are uncovered.

Jim

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I found this:

Moqui Marbles (also known as Shaman Stones or Thunderballs) are sedimentary concretions. They form as sediments are laid down at the bottom of bodies of water. The moqui marbles have harder minerals than the normal sediment. The sediment layers then turn to sandstone. When the sandstone erodes away, the marbles are uncovered.

Jim

Yes, I found that info and a lot of other info too. I was wondering what defines a "Moqui Marble" from just any old spherical sandstone/hematite concretion? Are all spherical sandstone concretions in the SW a "Moqui Marble" or just the ones in Utah? Just the ones in Navajo Sandstone? Just the ones with a hard hematite crust?

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When I lived in New Zealand for three years these were on the local beach. Most of the manageable ones were taken, only the big ones remain now. It is illegal to remove them.

http://www.moerakiboulders.com/

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Yes, I found that info and a lot of other info too. I was wondering what defines a "Moqui Marble" from just any old spherical sandstone/hematite concretion? Are all spherical sandstone concretions in the SW a "Moqui Marble" or just the ones in Utah? Just the ones in Navajo Sandstone? Just the ones with a hard hematite crust?

I believe they were "toys for the dead". The word Moqui to the Hopi means the dead, if I'am not mistaken.

Not sure there is a specific classification name for them. Did not find one in my search So, I am guessing Moqui is unique to the Utah specimens. Would be fun to test one or two of them in a camp fire! :blink:

Jim

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They indeed explode when put in a fire! It was the very first thing I did! Boom! Pop! Bang!

I see "Shaman Stones", "Boji Stones" . "Moqui Marbles" and several other spherical hematite concretions advertised in several places. Some from Canada, some from Kansas, some from Utah and some from Colorado. I see others from Bosnia, Australia, Tasmania, China and Mexico too.

They all look identical to these spheres from Glorieta Sandstone.

I dressed up a broken face of one and cleaned the remaining sandstone from the balls. They will dress up to shiny black spheres with flecks of yellow (sulphur ?) that was not replaced. They are all nearly perfectly spherical and are comprised of iron replacement minerals around the silica from the sandstone. Some have slight "rings" around the margins. They are hard, heavy and are neat objects for sure. I will post a photo of the cleaned up stones soon.

It seems like they are illegal to collect in many places. I guess the world is running out. Anyhoo it looks like I have the corner on the legal market! With as many "new agers" as there are in this neck of the woods I am certain I can sell as many as I can find.

I have been grinding off the sandstone with a carbide block and etching it away with a little dilute hydrochloric. Does anyone have any better suggestions on how to clean up the sandstone from these balls?

The "pupils" are where the stones are connected like clusters of grapes. Some stones have 2 "pupils" where they had a mate on either end. Some have no "pupil" as they were formed singly. Some are homogenous granules of hematite/limonite/goethite and some are layered with shells of hematite. But in general they are replacement iron minerals in place of the non-silica minerals in the original sandstone. I found one source that claimed there was palladium in the stones but it was one of those nut job sites.

I see where many sandstone concretions form around a fossil. This area is VERY rich in fossilized sea life. I dont see any fossils in the few that are broken open to the core but there may be some in there somewhere. Another theory is a "gel" of cementatious material made fom bacteria or mineral slime. And some claim they are fossilized eggs like frog eggs laid in a cluster. Whatever the process that made them they are certainly objects of interest.

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Bob ! What have you done to yourself? Your Avatar looks better B)

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Oh, a little makeup here and there, been on a diet lately, some step excercizes. You know...

She's a doll huh? Not presidential material in my book but she is darn nice to look at. You just gotta love Sarah!

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So in the past couple of weeks I have been hunting Moqui balls and making arrowheads, Here are a few photos.

On the left you will see some still in the sandstone. I found quite a few that way. .I cleaned up the assortment on the right, and in the upper right corner you will see seven hairlipped barnacles from the permian Chupadero formation. A rare sight indeed.

The Moqui balls clean up nice and they are hard hematite inside.

Here are a couple I worked down to the hematite and carry in my pocket. I have been practicing sorcery with them.

Here is one I found in situ.

So far I have sold 25 to a shop in Santa Fe. They really like the "twins" or the "father and son" stones. And I am cleaning up several sets of "triplets" right now. And since I just cant resist...

You will notice that even these stone plums are broken. A true testament to the power of a woman. There is no other explanation.

I have the spot about hunted out. There are a lot of broken ones out there but very few solid balls. There may be another exposure in the area but it would be tough to get permission to hunt it. I found a lot of lithic flakes and some big shards of very old pottery laying right in the hunt area. No doubt the natives were interested in these formations too.

You never know what neat stuff you are going to find just by looking down at the right moment.

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Bob! Tumble them puppies in Silca Sands and sell them as Ben Wa Balls! LOL

They would sell like hot cakes up there in Santa Fe!

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Bob! Tumble them puppies in Silca Sands and sell them as Ben Wa Balls! LOL They would sell like hot cakes up there in Santa Fe!

Er...I havent found anything large enough for these Santa Fe women yet. A rare breed of androgenous primate indeed. I actually dont think there is a female that cares about that sort of thing here. If there is I certainly have not met her. They say that Santa Fe has the largest lesbian community in the U.S. and I am beginning to believe that. Most of the ladies here wear a suit and tie, cut their hair short, strap them down under a business shirt and walk with a swagger. If'n you look 'em in the eye they will chin ya'!

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Just Pissed my self Laughing!

cartoo11-1.jpg

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