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ArtnSoul

Mystery "rock"

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Hi All, My parents have a rock (maybe it is something else?) My Dad found it over 50 years ago in Maryland in the edge of the water of the northeast river in the Chesapeake. They recently took it to a local college and the geology professors didn't know what it was. One of them said she thought it was thousands of years old and that it was formed before the river would have been there..564336143.jpg I'm very interested in finding out what it is, as it has been a mystery all of my life. Also...when you shake it, something rattles inside of it. And it is very heavy for it's size. My Mom used it for a doorstop for many years. That is a quarter in the pic

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 No offense but it's probably nothing special imho. Just a water worn rock. Probably igneous or metamorphic in nature. If you want a.specific indentification, you have to at least knock off a good sized chip and post a photo here.

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I think the rock was probably transported there thousands of years ago during the ice age.  The ice sheet extended into Maryland  way back then.  The bad thing about some of the rocks out east, the glaciers carried them hundreds of miles and randomly dropped them in places, so make ID difficult.  The rock itself is probably millions of years old before the glacier picked it up thousands of years ago.  I'm guessing it is also igneous or metamorphic because it is a bit shiny and sand stone doesn't tend to do that.  Most sandstone and other sedimentary rocks I've seen are rather rough and don't smooth out and get shiny all that well in nature.

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Based on this part of one of your pictures, I think it's possible you've got a concretion there. 

IMG_4202.PNG

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Thank you for the replies... and no offense taken either way.  It is very very heavy for its relative size. We always wondered what was "knocking/rattling" inside when you shake it. 

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5 hours ago, ArtnSoul said:

Forgive my ignorance, what is a concretion?

This Wikipedia page will give you a good start on concretions. 

 

Also, I just noticed the part where you said it rattled. That may make a type of concretion called a septarian nodule.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concretion

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I believe this is an example of a concretion. With a Moqui marble

5F6E0BEA-FFA6-470E-ADB0-F3C64C8AAEA1.png

Edited by OferAZ
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It doesn't look like any concretion I've ever seen. The only way you'll ever know for sure is to break it open. Then we might be able to tell you what it's composed of.

Edited by Morlock
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I may be wrong, but I think of natural concretions as looking like cheap concrete mixtures and in my mind is the other type of sedimentary rock besides sandstone.  I guess quartz and many other rocks can be sedimentary rock, but to me doesn't look it. 

IMHO, I would not break the rock open.  The story to finding the rock is not worth the risk of losing it if you crack it open and find nothing.  Slicing it with a rock saw would be better, but still not the risk of losing the family pet rock.

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14 hours ago, Morlock said:

It doesn't look like any concretion I've ever seen. The only way you'll ever know for sure is to break it open. Then we might be able to tell you what it's composed of.

I'm not saying it IS a concretion, just that it could be. There aren't many rocks out there that will shed layers like that. Of course it may not be a rock at all, but might be a man made artifact of some sort.

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I appreciate all of your comments and input. And yes, the rock has an outer layer of sorts, there are a couple spots where the outer layer is missing. There are cracks all around the whole rock that seem to be that outer layer that is cracked. Two geology professors at a local college said they really didn't know what it is. One of them said it was extremely dense and heavy... my Mom said she thought she said something that sounded like "barium". As a kid I wondered if it was a geode... but they aren't shaped like that. Because of the way it looked, I also wondered if it started out as something more like a liquid or melted form and then hardened. (But how would something be loose inside of it if that was the case?) The shape of it always intrigued me.... But I'm someone who is clueless about rock formation. Merely a guess on my part. (I used to joke that maybe it was a prehistoric cow paddy that petrified) LOL

The college said if they got it x-rayed, maybe it would reveal what was inside. I don't think that my parents would be wanting to cut into it. 

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