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Unknown Metal?

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posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 05:20 PM
I’m fairly new here, so if I make some sort of catastrophic mistake of monolithic proportions, please be lenient. Anywho, a few years ago, my father and I were travelling across British Columbia for a summer vacation. We briefly stopped in Vancouver to visit with my grandfather, who happened to live quite close to a local beach. Well, I was about 12- 13 at the time (17 now), and had the attention span of a squirrel, so I decided to take a walk along the beach instead of sitting in an apartment. Luckily for me, my father had the foresight to bring along some cheap metal detector he purchased at Radioshack,

Well, after finding many delightful and astonishing relics and artifacts of civilizations past, (ie: pop can tabs) I stumbled upon a peculiar piece of metal buried about a foot beneath the sand. It was about 2 “ by 1 ½ “ and appeared to be metal and rock fused together. Also, it appeared to be covered by a blue/green, white, and yellow powder in various areas (I’m guessing algae or calcium build up maybe? ) Well, as I continued along, I found several more, all of which were approximately the same depth beneath the sand, and the same distance from the incoming tide. After gathering several of them, I headed back to my grandfathers apartment. I showed them to my father and he inspected them for a short time, concluding that he had no idea what they could be.

We arrived back home some weeks later, and my father had the idea to have someone qualified inspect these odd geological specimens. After a little calling around, we got hold of a professor at the University of Alberta’s geology department, who seemed interested and willing to analyze what I had found. We dropped them off, and expected to discover what they were fairly soon, naturally assuming that they were something benign and common, nothing extraordinary to be sure. However, a couple weeks later, we received a call from the university. As it turns out, they were unable to determine what it was, they had no idea. Now, I’m no expert, but I would assume that it would be fairly simple for a geology professor to identify various metals, especially with the resources available at a university.

So, there it was, unknown, inconclusive, and being 13, I left it at that. I recently stumbled across these pieces again though, sifting through my closet, and my interest was renewed. I still haven’t the slightest as to what they could be, but I hope I can find out, especially with the assistance of the curious and clever minds here at ATS. Meteor Fragment? Melted pop can? Figment of my imagination? Who knows, but I hope someone here can help

Here are some pictures I took, with a, for lack of a better word, crappy, webcam.

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 05:39 PM
Hi Wowser,

Have you put a magnet to this rock?


[edit on 18-8-2005 by Roper]

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 05:46 PM
Yes, i did actually, and it is not magnetic, sorry i left that out

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 05:52 PM
that looks exactly like a rock I found down in Georgia. The rock I found has tons of those tiny gas pocket holes on the surface and had some strange metal all melted around it. You could tell it was melted because of the color of it, and it almost felt Rubbery. I'm not sure where the rock is now, I might have tossed it, but I never did figure out what it was.

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 06:15 PM
If you can, measure its volume and its mass. From that, you should be able to use its density to get a good idea what its made of.

On second thought, it may be some type of volcanic rock.

[edit on 18-8-2005 by vor78]

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 06:25 PM
Take it back to the U have them cut off a piece and run it thru a mass spec. Will tell the element contained. Could be a meteorite....

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 06:27 PM
Would measuring mass and volume work? Its made of at least 2 different materials (one rock and one metal) so, wouldn't they have different masses? and therefore wouldn't measuring them both as one material generate faulty results? Or am i missing something glaringly obvious (its happened before :duh

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 06:34 PM
its fire rock or something close to it. Essentially what you have is a composite piece of rock mass ejected out of a volcanic eruption from who knows when. This ejecta can be tossed miles into the air and as it falls and cools the heavier elements puddle in mass and the lighter materials, sand stone, shall, rock etc that had been super heated in the magma sort of seperate out into odd clumps and layers. So you get heavy metal elements mixed in with molten rock and stone bits.

The same could be said for a falling metor that bursts in mid air showering the ground with thousands of small bits. Same thing though you have a multitude of elements grouped together in space, then molting as it burns up through the atmosphere.

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 06:35 PM
If there's a significant amount of a second material, no, it won't work. That said, if you're willing to get a little hostile with it, you could cut away a section of each material and check density individually.

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 06:35 PM
I'm not positive without further tests but from appearances it looks like slag from either smelting of some type of metal or the residue and impurities from glass manufacturing.

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 07:01 PM
Might just be some slag or... it could be sumthin' really significant.
And how to do this on the cheap... Hmmm. Ok.

Get back ahold of the University - see if they have ANY docs on file.
You want them.
If not find find a gemologist in the phone book - only show it to them.
Find somebody with a geiger counter - the blue rock looks like cobalt and may be naturally "hot".
Next go to a jeweller - an get them to fix you up with some thin slices - only sacrifice one stone and keep the kerf shavings.
Next see if there's a well equipped physics lab near you - I'd suggest a University or maybe a mining school. Take only some of your slices.
They can prep the different materials for gas chromatograph assay and/or mass spectroscopy.
If the results are negative - find someone with access to a CAT scanner and take your other intact rocks to them - try a hospital technician.
I'd avoid having it MRI'd - but a PET scan will show the same thing and would be less likely to adversely affect the sample.

Now here's the important bit - all along the way get documentation of every kind you can and make sure you have a "backup" and that someone you trust far away from you is made aware of your every move invvestigating this.

Let's say you found some "unobtanium" of some sort - just for laughs - let's say a small natural amount of element 115 or maybe natural Helium 3 trapped in the sample then you are rich laddy-buck - physicists always want what nobody else has - governments too.

Best of luck - throttle up - congrats - keep us posted.

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 07:28 PM
Well thanks for all the advice, I'll be sure to take it to someone fairly soon. And the university never did return that piece I gave to them, maybe I should go get it back, lol. I still find it strange though that the UofA couldn't tell me ANYTHING about it.
Ah well, I'll try to go down there sometime in the next week or so. I'll also try to find the other pieces I found, just to make sure I have one or two that are expendable for research purposes. And highgroundsys0p, I sure hope its not "hot", might explain the throat problems and headaches I've had recently, lol

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