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I live in coastal central Florida and I know of many people myself included who have found objects pretty much identical to what you have. I was told it was caused by lightning hitting the sand and heating it up in a split second turning it to a ball of glass.. I am sure that is what you have.
That was the original idea my friend told me he thought it was, and I thought it was a good possibility as well. The glass slag seems less rare than lightning turning this into something so clear, but they have found these in desserts. So it is not ruled out!
Thanks for more great suggestions and I will try to get some more information posted asap. For now my friend is missing in action hahaha I'm sure I'll see him tonight or in the next few days and will try to get him to the University to have this looked at!
edit on 4/12/14 by SixX18 because: (no reason given)
SixX18, remember though that geography plays a role into where certain elements are found - What's the difference between dirt in a woods vs sand on a beach or in a desert? Silica - Beach sand or desert sand usually contains a lot of silica; the debris you find in dirt contains plant matter, feces, polluted elements.
If it were a fulgurite (lightning glass), then I would expect that there would be impurities; all of the samples that I have collected and have seen (including that of a down power line one), only vaguely look like clear glass; they mostly take on a dirty, dark exterior.
Second, lightning is dispersed as a fractal - it enters the ground, heats up a "core" of the material, which them solidifies. All of the ones that I have don't even have anything inside this core - it's crusted on the outside, and smooth glass on the inside; they make interesting windchimes.
If you really want to go down the "it's not man-made" route, then submit a sample to any mineralogical society - At least to me, submitting a sample makes more sense than asking people that may or may not know what it is. In fact, if your friend is willing, have him send me a penny or dime sized piece, and I'll take it to my local museum myself, about a half-hour away. Even though I collect rocks and minerals as a hobby; I can still tell man-made from natural. What I'm seeing is not natural.
PS: As much as I hate sounding like a certain debunker, I'm not trying to aggravate you or derail the thread. Without a sample, and just by the information you posted, to me it looks like a rose is just a rose in this case. If I've offended you, then I'm sorry.edit on 12/4/2014 by fossilera because:edit on 12/4/2014 by fossilera because:
originally posted by: Bishop2199
a reply to: SixX18
It is entirely possible that it is a meteorite. Could have been polished on atmospheric entry or after touchdown over time.
Here is an example of a glass-looking meteorite.
originally posted by: Kokatsi
Some abstract sculptures made with slag glass - in another part of the world:
This artist is in my family so I have been around glass slag pieces for a while.
They take weeks to cool off after a cleaning of the up of a glass factory melt (another reason why this one cannot be lightning glass). They can be far harder than regular bottle glass. They are not worth much as far as market value but they can bring a lot of inspiration to people. Especially if they are placed in the window, incorporated in a composition or lit by cleverly positioned lightbulbs in the evening.
If you are not used to metalwork, that is what I would do in your place - construct some sort of lamp. (They are OK with heat since they already shattered what they could when cooling off.)