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Earth Space Science

The Story of My As-Yet-Unverified Impact Crater 250

Posted by Soulskill
from the dent-in-the-world dept.
tetrahedrassface writes "When I was very young, my dad took me on a trip to his parents' farm. He wanted to show me 'The Crater.' We walked a long way through second generation hardwoods and finally stood on the rim of a hole that has no equal in this area. As I grew up, I became more interested in The Crater, and would always tell friends about it. It is roughly 1,200 feet across and 120 feet deep, and has a strange vibe about it. When you walk up to it, you feel like something really big happened here. Either the mother of all caves is down there, or a large object smashed into this place a long, long time ago. I bought aerial photos when I was twelve and later sent images from GIS to a geologist at a local university. He pretty much laughed me out of his office, saying that it was a sinkhole. He did wish me luck, however. It may be sinkhole. Who knows? Last week I borrowed a metal detector and went poking around, and have found the strangest shrapnel pieces I have ever seen. They are composed of a metal that reacts strongly to acids. The largest piece so far reacted with tap water and dish-washing detergent. My second trip today yielded lots of strange new pieces of metal, and hopefully, one day the truth will be known. Backyard science is so much fun. And who knows; if it is indeed a cave, maybe Cerberus resides there."
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The Story of My As-Yet-Unverified Impact Crater

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  • by eexaa (1252378) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:29AM (#34239804) Homepage

    I'm kindof afraid that your backyard is going to become the first physical place to be slashdotted.

    • by naz404 (1282810) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:10AM (#34240362) Homepage
      Have you noticed any strange abilities, powers or personality changes emerging after exposure to these strange pieces of metal for extended periods of time?

      Hmmm... you may also want to consider forging a magical sword out these strange metal fragments... You can then challenge the meteor sword-wielding [frankylicio.us] Sir Terry Pratchett to an internet duel of epic proportions...
    • by sycodon (149926)

      Don't jack around with Kryptonite. It can leave very nasty burns.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by penguin_dance (536599)

      It would have been nice if he would give some idea of location. Is this in the US, Europe, etc.? Someone here might know the local geography. The bits of metal don't look all that weird to me. It could be there because of a battle, a deposit of iron ore or other natural deposit [wikipedia.org]. Are there any old mines in the area?

      And do you have any food synthesizers that went down [moddb.com]?

      Yeah, I'm wondering if we're being punked with a video game promotion....

  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RenHoek (101570) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:36AM (#34239828) Homepage

    Why does this remind so much of The Story of Barbie Head Archeology [misanthropytoday.com]...

  • by damas (469487) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:38AM (#34239836)
    Could be a karst landform http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karst_topography [wikipedia.org]. Carbonate rock will react with water.
    • Carbonate rock will react with water.

      When you say "react with", you mean "dissolve, usually quite slowly, in".

      • by dkf (304284)

        Carbonate rock will react with water.

        When you say "react with", you mean "dissolve, usually quite slowly, in".

        Tends to be a fast reaction by comparison with almost any other rock. Sandstone lasts much longer despite being relatively easy to erode mechanically, and volcanic rocks (granite, basalt) are much more durable.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Carbonate rock will react with water.

        When you say "react with", you mean "dissolve, usually quite slowly, in".

        Sorry, that is not what he means. Most carbonates will react (not dissolve) with chlorinated tap water and acidic ground water.

    • Cool!! Soulskill is just one scuba gear away from sending us some really cool pictures.

    • by hey! (33014)

      My thoughts exactly. Might be a good place to hunt for caves.The giant sinkhole is promising.These have led to the discovery of some of the deepest caves in the world.

  • by scapermoya (769847) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:38AM (#34239838) Homepage
    my guess is that you have something along the lines of calcium carbide in those rocks
    • by IrquiM (471313)
      One thing is for sure - I wouldn't call it shrapnel
    • by chrb (1083577)

      Shyeah right... The photos clearly show some new form of kryptonite, which has been subjected to trans-positited fillifitation of ferrous ions within the crystalline structural matrix.

      • by gmhowell (26755)

        Shyeah right... The photos clearly show some new form of kryptonite, which has been subjected to trans-positited fillifitation of ferrous ions within the crystalline structural matrix.

        Really? I thought the telltale sign of that reaction was that the biologic component took on the appearance of rusty hand tools?

    • by AnswerIs42 (622520) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:39AM (#34240024) Homepage
      If they did, he would not be here to post about it.... There are only 6 metals that will react with water, and they are the Alkali metals [wikipedia.org], and they are quite energetic (as in Jamie Wants Big Boom).

      Looking at the pictures, the depressions to the north, the cutouts running north and south.. I would have to agree with the expert he consulted that what they have there are sink holes.

      The metals could have even been dumped there, not as in a hoax, years and years ago as the site could have been a "garbage dump". Unless you know the history of the area, may never know for sure.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If they did, he would not be here to post about it.... There are only 6 metals that will react with water, and they are the Alkali metals, and they are quite energetic (as in Jamie Wants Big Boom).

        Not so, the alkali earth metals (calcium, for example) will also react with water on a clean surface, but much less violently. Calcium still evolves gas at a visible rate...

      • by speroni (1258316) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @07:01AM (#34240546) Homepage

        Does it not rain there?

        Surely if the metals reacted to water they would have had the chance by now.

      • by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @08:33AM (#34240980)

        If he was holding it in a frangible container 6 inches from his face with no protection while submersing it in water, then yes...he could get injured by an Alkali metal. They actually react quite slow in comparison to many other explosives, and have a very limited amount of power. In fact, several grams of Sodium wasn't even enough to break a soda bottle for me. It just filled with some nasty smoke/gas and distended the bottle.

        Also, take into account that if he just found them lying there, there is almost zero chance they are alkali metals. They would long ago have disappeared thanks to rain and atmospheric humidity. A simple carbonate is the most likely answer.

  • Take it to a uni (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Old Wolf (56093) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:41AM (#34239844)

    How about taking a bit down to the geology department at the local university? Find out what the crater actually is. It could be important :)

  • skeptics... unite! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by igotmybfg (525391) <`slashdot' `at' `danielthompson.net'> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:57AM (#34239892) Homepage
    are you (my fellow /.ers) sure this isn't a stalking horse for some kind of viral advertisement / alternate reality game?
    • Maybe another Stalker game more closely based on Roadside Picnic?

      "Next I tried strapping the bits of metal to my belt. I felt my health decline slightly as it irradiated me, but I drank some vodka and continued testing. I found I was able to carry 10lbs more equipment (up to 60lbs) without becoming exhausted three times as quickly as usually happens when I carry anything over 50.00lbs of equipment. This artifact could help me reduce my energy drink consumption."

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:57AM (#34239894)

    Looking at that photo, sinkhole sounds plausible.

    Maybe there are more holes in the surroundings, then it's clear. Also don't craters normally come with an elevated rim? Hard to see from above of course but no indication of such a rim around it.

    Oh well lots of guesses will be posted here I'm sure. It's /. after all, fantasies running wild.

    Indeed just take those metals to your local uni or so, have them figure out what it is. If they really react strongly to water then this must be recently exposed material (won't last long outdoors in the wet soil), so can't be from an ancient impact crater. I mean the material itself could be from whatever source but it's obviously exposed recently as you can find it easily with a metal detector so can't be there for a very long time or it would have weathered already.

    Also impact craters usually have lots of glassy material from molten rock present, look up some research articles about confirmed craters on what you should be able to find there.

    • Looking at that photo, sinkhole sounds plausible.

      what photo... all I see is a smoking dead website...

  • You know why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597)

    He pretty much laughed me out of his office, saying that it was a sinkhole. He did wish me luck, however. It may be sinkhole.

    You know why he laughed you out of his office? Because you went in there saying "Look! I've got an as-yet undiscovered crater in my backyard! Or maybe it's a big cave or something!"

    It makes you sound like some easily-impressed idiot who doesn't know the first thing about rocks, which is probably what you are - something that irregular and in soil that looks that soft is almost certain

    • by darrylo (97569)
      rofl. I'd give you a bazillion "informative" points, if I could.
    • Re:You know why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ziekheid (1427027) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:08AM (#34239936)

      You might be right at most of your points but there is no need to talk an enthusiastic person down like that. I for one am glad that people who haven't even studied this matter take interest in their local area and try to find out what it actually is.
      I agree though that you should always go for the most logical assumption first.

      • Re:You know why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by IICV (652597) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:46AM (#34240050)

        You might be right at most of your points but there is no need to talk an enthusiastic person down like that. I for one am glad that people who haven't even studied this matter take interest in their local area and try to find out what it actually is.

        But that's the thing! He's not taking an interest! He's literally in the process of making up an urban legend.

        I mean the parts are all there - "I've known about a place where weird stuff happens since I was a kid. I went to a well-established authority figure and he laughed me out of his office! Then I went back to the place where weird things happen and I found all sorts of strange artifacts! Oh my gosh! Tickets are $5 a person."

        Seriously, give this guy another couple of years and he'll have found ancient Mayan ruins (nevermind the fact that the Mayans never came up here) complete with alien doohickies.

        It's like this: taking an interest is looking at what's actually there. This guy is clearly only looking at what he wants to see. The overblown, sensationalist Slashdot summary is just a symptom of underlying delusions of mystery, and honestly fits perfectly with the generic urban legend narrative.

        In fact, I bet you anything the geologist did absolutely nothing even remotely like laughing the poster out of his office - the poster e-mailed the geologist some pictures; physically being inside someone's office is a prerequisite for being laughed out of it, and honestly it doesn't work that at all if you interpret the sentence as a metaphor (I mean how do you know the geologist was laughing at you in an e-mail? Is it perhaps because at some level you know that your claims are, in and of themselves, laughable?). However, that phrase fit the story so perfectly we're expected to overlook this detail.

        • Re:You know why? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:28AM (#34240214)
          (Apparently) unlike you, the submitter acknowledges the possibility of being wrong, and still has a childlike fascination for the things we all know too much about to be inspired by. Also, we have yet to know what was meant by "mailed" and whether or not a subsequent office visit took place. Your post seems to reveal more about your own assumptions than the submitter's.
          • by Gerzel (240421)

            Being like a child is fine when one is young but a menace when one is an adult.

            The problem is that this story seems to focus on the child-likeness w/o working towards any growth. It only seems to want to verify the unverified(actually probably proven wrong) assumption of the poster and not seek the truth.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jc42 (318812)

            . the submitter acknowledges the possibility of being wrong, and still has a childlike fascination for the things we all know too much about to be inspired by. ...

            Yeah. And I wonder about the vociferous put-downs that people are posting. After all, there are hundreds of known impact craters scattered around the planet. The US has had several cases of meteors hitting houses in the past few decades (two of them in Connecticut). Some years back, there was a groups of small craters (in the 1-2m size range) in a farming area in China, probably caused by the pieces of a larger rock that broke up in the atmosphere. Just a year or two ago, there was the impact in easter

        • Tearing him a new one isn't constructive - and he doesn't really deserve to be spoken to like that. This is worth a listen [actuallyspeaking.com].
        • by Tuoqui (1091447)

          Without guys like this Mythbusters would have run out of material a long time ago... Why not look at it as a positive :)

      • Re:You know why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vegiVamp (518171) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:01AM (#34240100) Homepage

        > there is no need to talk an enthusiastic person down like that

        Wish I could pass some of my users on to you. They're really enthusiastic about things, I can tell you. Almost enough to make up for their utter lack of understanding or their complete inability to understand even basic concepts.

        Sometimes a good mental kicking is the best you can do for them, not to mention yourself.

      • by Rysc (136391) *

        You might be right at most of your points but there is no need to talk an enthusiastic person down like that. I for one am glad that people who haven't even studied this matter take interest in their local area and try to find out what it actually is.
        I agree though that you should always go for the most logical assumption first.

        He's not trying to find out what it actually is. He has a preconceived notion that admits to no disproving. Facts? Research? Science? He doesn't seem to care for these things. If he did a little digging (metaphorically) and could provide a scrap of evidence for something other than a sinkhole, that would be another matter. Leaping to far-fetched conclusions without supporting evidence is just childish.

        I'm all for slapping down 'enthusiasm' of this sort before another "faith trumps fact" religion gets starte

      • Well... the moon and every other planet we've looked at has tons of these "sinkholes." That being said, yes, I am taking into account the atmosphere of earth, and how it will burn most galactic debris up, however, without any closer pictures or... really anything more than what is given to us... how is an intelligent discussion around this thing supposed to form?
    • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:28AM (#34239980)
      Why are you using abusive language to a complete stranger, just because he doesn't know as much geology and chemistry as you do? Perhaps you should think about attending a course on anger management.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by IICV (652597)

        Oh you're looking for gentle encouragement? I'm so sorry, this is Slashdot - we only offer abuse and Soviet Russia jokes. Oh and sharks with lasers on their heads. Okay, we offer three things...

        As I said to a sibling poster: if this dude was actually looking to understand what is going on, he wouldn't be making up stories like this - he would be actually researching the area. Instead, he takes pictures of lumps of rock and names the image file "meteor"; he's clearly far more interested in telling a made-up

      • by dave420 (699308)
        I think it was more the guy's methodology rather than his bare enthusiasm that people took offence to. It seems the guy wants it to be a mystery more than he wants to know exactly what it is, which is pretty antithetical to science; the only methodology one can use to ascertain what the fuck is going on over there. It's kind of like the 9/11 truther movement - trying to shoe-horn "facts" into one's pre-existing ideas of what happened.
      • by Rysc (136391) *

        Mod parent down. Flaming someone is a reasonable way to teach him not to be such an idiot. Coddling someone with sweet lies doesn't help anything. If the poster had wanted polite discourse he should have (a) not made ridiculous unsubstantiated claims and (b) not gone crying to slashdot.

    • Someone mod this up, please?

      The only thing you missed is the "metal that reacts strongly to acids." Really?? OMFG! Aliens!

      Someone skipped first-year chemistry (and that's first-year high school, not undergrad).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by prettything (965473)

      but you don't need to start by making shit up!

      peoples like you are why science is so sucky. where did you start and how did you end up so close minded?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nschubach (922175)

        It's been my experience that science is pretty sucky. If we called the news media every time we found a chunk of metal and predetermined it to be alien artifacts, we'd all be Scientologists.

        It has nothing to do with being "close minded" as much as it has to be about finding the truth before making up what you want it to be.

    • by bytesex (112972)

      "And in the end, only kindness matters"

    • It makes you sound like some easily-impressed idiot who doesn't know the first thing about rocks, which is probably what you are - something that irregular and in soil that looks that soft is almost certainly not a crater. I mean, just compare it to a picture of an actual crater [wikipedia.org]; they're nothing alike.

      Sorry what was that about doing even a little bit of reading? That wikipedia article has a picture of a crater on the moon, a simulated crater and a crater on one of Jupiter's moons. None of them are from earth. Even a sink hole can more closely resembles an impact crater on earth than that on the moon.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It makes you sound like some easily-impressed idiot who doesn't know the first thing about rocks, which is probably what you are - something that irregular and in soil that looks that soft is almost certainly not a crater. I mean, just compare it to a picture of an actual crater; they're nothing alike.

      While you're right, using a picture of a moon crater for comparison is fucking stupid (craters look pretty different where there's no atmosphere thus no weathering) and there are no pictures of craters on earth in the linked article.

    • by paiute (550198)

      You just discouraged 99% of all future Ask Slashdot submissions.

    • We need more curious people. What we do not need is more rude and discouraging people like yourself and, possibly, the professor.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      The thing is that on Slashdot no one knows how old you are.
      If this poster is 14 or 15 he may be on the start of becoming a very good geologist.
      Even 18 he still is just really enthusiastic.
      I agree this is probably a sink hole of some kind and not an impact. But that is only a guess I have only a passing knowledge of geology but none of the rocks shown seem all that odd to me.
      You never educate through ridicule and for all you know you just made some 16 year old girl just getting into science cry.

  • Cut it! (Score:5, Informative)

    by dvh.tosomja (1235032) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:58AM (#34239898)

    Cut the stone with angle grinder, polish the cut, show us the picture. Meteorites have quite distinctive texture.

    • Re:Cut it! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:27AM (#34239970) Homepage

      Cut the stone with angle grinder, polish the cut, show us the picture. Meteorites have quite distinctive texture.

      Also try getting some shavings from the inside of the lump and heating them strongly in a flame (a small blowtorch is ideal for this). The color of flame created will indicate what metals/metal ions are involved (OK, cruder than using a spectroscope, but easy to do with stuff that many people have lying around).

      • Re:Cut it! (Score:4, Informative)

        by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:13AM (#34240142)
        If it's metal, and it reacts with water, this more than likely isn't the best advice to give.

        As someone posted earlier, "Jamie Want Big Boom."
        • by dkf (304284)

          If it's metal, and it reacts with water, this more than likely isn't the best advice to give.

          I did say shavings. Putting the whole lot in would be dumb and unscientific too.

        • Even the most reactive metals react weakly to the moisture in the air, and unimpressively to direct submersion in water. I'd be MUCH more worried about it heating to a point where some Magnesium pocket inside ignites and burns your house down.

          • Even the most reactive metals react weakly to the moisture in the air...

            Indeed

            ... and unimpressively to direct submersion in water.

            Uhhhh... What now? [youtube.com]

    • Re:Cut it! (Score:4, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @07:02AM (#34240552) Homepage Journal

      Maybe he should cut it with a cut-off wheel instead of a grinding wheel, unless his goal is to produce sand.
      Personally I use a miter saw with a grinding wheel to cut stuff that isn't wood, so I don't have to hold anything steady.

    • There are certain meteorites that display this pattern, called a Widmanstätten pattern [wikipedia.org]. These are metallic meteorites, nickel-iron variety. You are wrong to assume that any random meteorite will have this pattern. The fact of the matter is, people find a lot of these because they are easy to locate with a metal detector - not because they are particularly common.
  • Carbonates (Score:5, Informative)

    by RWarrior(fobw) (448405) * on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:15AM (#34239944)

    [My apologies for the lack of links: Google is your friend. The editor is being a bitch.]

    If it reacts with acid, it's carbonate (such as calcium carbonate, CaCO2). The classic test for carbonates is to dump a 5% solution of HCl (hydrochloric acid, available as muriatic acid in any hardware store) onto the sample; if it bubbles, it's a carbonate. (I know one geologist who calls this test "barbaric.") You can also use common household vinegar.

    99.99% of all carbonates on the Earth are sedimentary. Usually, they form in shallow to medium depth water when microscopic critters with calcium shells die by the kazillions and fall to the ocean floor, where they pile into layers that give us things like limestone. There is one exception, however: Oldoinyo Lengai is a volcano in Tanzania that produces carbonate lava (the only carbonate-producing volcano in the world -- all the rest produce silicates, products based on SiO2). Someday I would like to see a sample of this igneous carbonate, because while silicates are really really important in geology, they're also really really common, and thus really really boring.

    A relatively inexpensive bulk chemical analysis could tell you the exact composition of your samples, and you would probably find a pretty high iron content, which accounts for the trigger on your metal detector. My educated guess is the mineral siderite, FeCO3. It is common both in hydrothermal veins and in sedimentary formations.

    Sinkholes can form when subterrainian water flows dissolve minerals (such as carbonates), forming a cave that later collapses. When this happens, you get a crater. And yes, you can get a pretty big one, depending on how deep the cave is.

    So yes, it's a probably a sinkhole.

  • Sinkhole (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pentagram (40862) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:19AM (#34239948) Homepage

    Speaking as a caver, it could well be a shakehole (sinkhole). It's not the classic shape for it but they vary in shape and size. It's big, but not enormous. If it is a shakehole it certainly won't have broken any records.

    As a first step, check some geological maps. If you're above limestone, I'd say: case closed, it's a shakehole. Yes, it's above a cave (or at least where a cave used to be!) The first photo of the "new metal" looks suspiciously like limestone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:27AM (#34239966)

    Finding out a origin of such negative relief forms is a hard task.
    1) Get a fine scale topographical map of it's surroundings. 1:10'000 is excellent, 1:25'000 could also work (depends on crater size). Look for any similar features around. Could this be a simple erosional form?

    2) Go to nearest geological survey department and ask for surface geological map. Depending on Your location, it might be called "Quaternary sediment cover map". I'm not from USofA and thus have no idea if You will need to $$ to get it. If they offer also an geomorphological map, take that also. Those maps will help You to understand locations geological setting. You will be able to check possibility of ordinary karst or termokarst.

    3) Compare craters location with known extent of Quaternary glaciations. In territories with Quaternary glaciations or close to glacial limits is possible to see termokarst depressions. They can be of variable size and form - starting from small, round crater-like forms up to large wally-like depressions filled with modern lakes.

    4) If You want to describe any rock sample, You need to get a clean, fresh surface. Identifying rock samples by simply pouring an acid on it's surface might just reveal presence of calcite in soil and say nothing about rock it self.

    5) Double check exact location in relief where You found those sock samples. Could there been some springs coming out or have been groundwater discharge location? Then it might be Limonite (bog ore) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limonite

    6) If it's still not clear what it is - get an hand auger (soil sampler). I use One-Piece Edelman Auger. Make a profile line over that "crater" - sample on undisturbed land, on the rim, at the bottom etc. Get coordinates for exact location; photographs; describe color, wetness, anything You see or feel with hands (pebbles, sand, dust). Making correct description sill might need an training to get familiar with methods, still You will be able to tell if there's difference in soil composition on rims/bottom in comparison with surrounding territory (if crater is young enough).

    Sorry form my language.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      I'm not from USofA and thus have no idea if You will need to $$ to get it.

      You don't always need to pay for a topo map. They can be found online here [msrmaps.com] for free. I use these at work all the time and they are decent if not really out of date sometimes. All you need is the coordinates (can be had from google earth or maps).

      Also I agree with previous poster RWarrior(fobw) it is probably a ferrous carbonate such as siderite or something similar and you have most likely found a sinkhole. Now if they are uncommon in your area you may have something special there.

  • Meteorwrongs (Score:5, Informative)

    by jolyonr (560227) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:29AM (#34240216) Homepage

    We get these sorts of questions regularly on my site (www.mindat.org) and, I have to say, the vast majority of times they turn out to be of entirely terrestrial origin (meteorwrongs).
    A friend at the Natural History Museum in London tells me that well over 99.9% of the items brought in as possible meteorites turn out not to be. The chances are not good.

    Now, I would not want to dismiss your findings out of hand because, of course, meteorites can be found anywhere. But the first picture doesn't look like a meteorite to me at all. It looks like a very badly corroded iron pyrite nodule, which are relatively common in some limestones and other sedimentary rocks. The second one could be a meteorite, but it could equally well be a nodule.

    Easy way to tell is break one open. If it has a radial crystalline structure then it cannot be a meteorite, it can only be an iron sulphide nodule.

    Alternatively, post pictures and descriptions on my board where real geologists and mineralogists can help you!

    Jolyon

    ps. Calcium Carbide? I had to laugh!

  • by rgbatduke (1231380) <rgb@@@phy...duke...edu> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:51AM (#34240306) Homepage

    It could easily be a meteor crater or a sinkhole, or even an old quarry (depending on the quality of the rock). If it is a meteor crater that size, you really have hit the jackpot, because meteors are worth money. However, the people who buy them aren't idiots, so you won't make money pretending; you have to find out. If it was formed by a meteor, there would have been splatter in all directions, but more in one direction than the others. Get a metal detector and search not just inside but all around the periphery up to three or four hundred meters away. If it really is from a meteor, and nobody has "mined" out the many fragments it would have produced, and it was the right kind of meteor (many are nickel-iron, some are stony, nickel-iron are the ones you can find and identify with a metal detector) you will find some chunks that aren't just teensy bits, but are large, partially fused, chunks of mixed iron and rock. They are hard to miss -- their density is close to twice that of ordinary rock (specific gravity closer to five than three). As another poster pointed out, even stony meteors can usually be identified by sawing and polishing -- the origins of meteor rock are typically quite different from earthbound rocks and they have a characteristic structure. But limestone chunks are probably not going to be meteors...;-)

    Anyway, if you have a real crater with lots of real meteorite fragments, bear in mind that they will sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars each, depending on size, composition, and provenance. Even tens of thousands for large bits. And yes, there are geology departments at Universities that would like very much to help you search for pieces and study the crater itself, and you should give them first dibs before making money out of it as knowledge is more important than money.

    Good luck, but don't hold your breath. No matter where you are sitting, you are sitting on top of at least meteor dust as a contant rain of that drifts down from the sky every day, and fragments from tiny to small are rather commonplace. Larger fragments are increasingly rare, though, and really big impact craters (that have been identified as such) are very rare.

    rgb

  • Acids vs. bases (Score:3, Informative)

    by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @07:05AM (#34240564) Homepage

    > They are composed of a metal that reacts strongly to acids.
    >The largest piece so far reacted with tap water and
    > dish-washing detergent

    Dish washing detergent is basic, not acidic.

    http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090106114510AAlzSKE

    It is highly unlikely you have a single material that reacts _chemically_ the same way to both.

  • It's clearly a quirk in the map generator. Apparently someone has been everywhere around that area but not near it and voilá, the chunks in the area get generated much later and don't fit in with the rest of the map.

    The OP can be happy enough that the chunks have the same biome as the ones south/east of it (Savannah?). After all, there are some random biomes sprinkled around nearby. (Notch really ought to clean up the code that determines which biome a new chunk gets.)

    Well, it's either that or som
  • I'm no expert but, if you see Cerberus, TURN THE FUCK AROUND!

    Good luck!

  • I'm an undergrad student of Chemistry and I live in a karstic region, so I might help you a bit. First it would be cool if you would measure the density of the potential meteorite (displacement of water + mass, measure first mass) and also it would be nice if we could determine for example the amount of iron in it This can be done with common household chemicals (HCl, NaOH both common available accross the globe). Iron is not so rare in such karstic landscapes (if that crater is in one), but afaik is usua
  • Jesus. (Score:5, Informative)

    by tetrahedrassface (675645) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @09:47AM (#34241736) Journal
    First of I have a degree in Environmental Science. Second, I know the history of this place for the last hundred years. Third it sets of a metal detector. Fourth the largest sample off gassed when I brought it in and washed it with water and dawn dishwashing detergent. That is all I know. I am not, nor do I wish to be making up urban legends. It may well be a sinkhole as I noted in the submission. I didn't expect this to be published on the front page, but you know what? It *is* kinda cool, and for all the name calling by a few of you who feign anger at someone like myself who actually goes out and pokes around rather then sitting in an armchair it doesn't bother me.

    This is not in Florida... And no, I won't post lat and longitude because I can see that a lot of people would probably swarm out here. I will continue detecting around the area, looking for more pieces of metal, and maybe even, god forbid go down in the bottom and dig.

    For all the constructive posts, thanks. If it is a cave, I want to go in it!

  • Radiation? (Score:3, Funny)

    by RKBA (622932) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @11:56AM (#34243736)
    I suggest you take a Geiger counter with you on your next trip to the crater before you go mucking about too much there.

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. -- Thomas Hewitt Key, 1799-1875

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