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Hi, and what is this? a fossilized eggplant ?

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Hi guys,

I've had this thing for years and i have no idea what it is. it is perfectly tear shaped. the other day i sawed it in half and it revealed concentric layers as you can see. all i know about it is that it was found in the desert.

Any ideas ?

Petrified egg? eggplant ? onion ?




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Maybe "Apache Tears"( a type of obsidian, I think) you include no scale in the pic...

Oh wait- you state,"concentric layers"- i thin that throws my guess out the window.

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So is it really a rock or could it be a wood gall? Just the look of it makes me think it is a gall from an ironwood tree. What is the hardness and what did you use to cut it?

If it is a rock it is probably a flint/chert nodule. I haven’t seen any that dark but they come in all colors and have concentric banding.

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Yes, I must admit, the obsidian was a knee jerk reaction. I'm going to go out on a branch here.. to me it looks like a seed pod, a nut. A good sized one and just to walk further out on that limb being in the desert and not familiar with the types of desert seed pods or nuts. I would say this one was a reject from a border runner with a back pack full of avocados

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Bush doctor do you think so ? it would make sense. it is not magnetic, and very dense. it's density - if i remember correctly - is 3.8 gm/ml . umm i think. i measured and tested all that because when first i found it i thought it was a meteorite.

oh and it was found in the Libyan desert.

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Definitely a hematite concretion. It probably started life as a mollusk and was replaced by iron. Many concretions are formed around fossils or contain fossils of sea life.

I have been learning a lot about sandstone and concretions lately after finding my "Moqui Marble" bed. And I have found several hematite concretions that are very similar to yours.

It should streak red ochre. When you cut it your filings should have been bright red. And there will be minute granules of silica and maybe some other insoluble materials in the matrix that remain imbedded in the hematite.

Lay the flat faces on a piece of 400 wet paper and polish it up. Nice hard hematite can be finished pretty well and makes a great conversation piece. If 400 makes it pretty then 1200 will really shine it up. Use a little water and the cuttings will produce a red paste indicative of hematite.

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This is the best example of an obloid I can lay my hands on today in the snow. There are many that are flat like vanilla wafers and also shell shaped. These are straight out of the sandstone and uncleaned. After polishing a little, either by abrasives or the Lybian sand, they reveal their hard finish. This one will polish up to look a lot like your specimen only chubbier. And when cut they reveal the concentric rings.

Google "Moqui Marbles", 'Klerpsdoorf spheres", "Kansas pop rocks", "Martian blueberries", "Sceptartian nodules", "Hematite concretions". You will see a lot of really neat formations that nature has created.

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Well it wasn't red, but it was rust orange... really reminded me of rust when i was cutting it... is that good enough?

Yes. The streak of a concretion is often paler in color but shows the red streak of the hematite mixed with the streaks of the other associated minerals. And when I say "red" I mean "rusty red". Not like fire engine red paint but like deep red ochre or "indian paint red".

I'll bet the farm it is another neat hematite concretion. I just love the darn things. No doubt a person carried that rock around. Most of the really neat concretions are found in archaeological sites. Man has always been fascinated by shape and symmetry out of chaotic nature. There is much mystery and a lot of cutting edge science around these concretions. A little research will reveal that we have a lot to learn from them.

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Ok, well that's interesting. Surprising how a little bit of information can add to the puzzle. I mean first of all we thought it was wood, I bowed down to a nut, but then again I am a nut. The concretions stood ground. I was a little bit dubious about the Moqui Marbles considering the circumstances of how they were formed, then you threw a clanger in there... Libya Desert. I've always been fascinated by this desert, not because of the good collection of Libyan Desert Glass I have, but it's strange circumstances.and geological features.


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G'Day tempogen

Thanks for that confidence, many around me think I'm a nut ;) The Moqui Marbles just don't fit into the category being in surface and in color.

Now as for the hematite concretions, that was interesting. But I haven't seen one as perfectly cast as yours is. But then BB posted some images which I was amazed at.

As for being a fossilized eggplant, sorry no. Wrong shape number 1, secondly the consistency of an eggplant would not stand up to thousands of years in preparation of a fossil state. It's a very soft sinuous fruit. It would break down within 2 weeks to a mush. That's not to say there might be some incredible circumstances that it was sealed and preserved due to some earthly catastrophic event, like Pompeii. But most fossils, if they're not vertebrates, only leave impressions.. leaves, ferns, fish. To have a complete fossilized eggplant, or should we say aubergine, would be remarkable.

No, it's definitely some sort of concretion. I think maybe BB is correct. As for me, I can't honestly offer up a positive answer. Maybe if I had it in my hot little hands, I could add more.



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I am afraid the concretion connection would be me. And I also like hematite. In some circles I am known as Muhematite Obamabob.

Here is a hematite concretion in sandstone. I call it the "Bobbitt Rock"

And a few more odd shapes.

The Sangre De Christo version of the Moqui Marble. As you can see some are hard as flint and take a nice polish. I collect the more spherical shapes but pear shapes and clamshell shapes are common in the formation.

And this is Cathy. She is a piece of botroytal hematite.

Many times botroytal hematite will make symmetrical shapes. Your eggplant may be a node of botroytal hematite instead of a concretion. Botroytal tends to have a slicker finish, although many concretions have a smooth shell finish. And keep in mind that a shape of hematite like that was probably smoothed by hand. Especially if found in such an ancient land.

Here is a pair that I have been carrying around in my pocket and rolling around in my hands. I use them as good luck charms as to cast out several types of unclean spirits.They are a couple of the poorer "grainy" marbles that I have found. But you can see how they rapidly change from a sandstone looking rock into something a lot harder and denser.

You gottum a hematite shape for sure, Whether a concretion that has been smoothed or a botroytal that has a great symmetrical shape. That is what it is for sure.

Here is one more photo because after all, I am Muhematite Obamabob. This is another botroytal. I know where this stuff is scattered in an elliptical strewn field. A great meteor wrong. Alll the pieces exhibit a concave botroytal shape that looks a lot like regmaglyphs and even some "shrinkage cracks". Botroytal hematite generally assumes the "gibbous" form like Cathy, with bubbles and convexities. But these look just like childrens "jacks". Some have points and arms reaching our in several directions.

Hematite is darn neat stuff.

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