Did I find a meteorite?

About 15 years ago I was just south of Nags Head, on the Outter Banks of North Carolina, when I found this curious rock. I was on a large sand bar called “The Point”. "The Point"doesn’t go away, but shifts season by season. It is unlikely that something heavier than the sand would have washed “up”.

You can see a rainbow sheen, like it is covered in oil, but it is not. It is not unusually heavy (or light) for its size.

It has resided in the window above the sink in our kitchen…until my wife knocked it to the floor last week and broke it into two pieces.

What is inside stirred my interest. It is shiny like it is metallic or glassy. And - here is the weird part, it is attracted to itself. If you put the pieces back in place they stay, even if you hold it upside down, or sideways. When you pull them apart you can feel a weak connection being broken. BUT it is not reactive to a magnet, or iron.

A quick google of “meteorite” shows images of similar objects.

Someone suggested it could be where lightning struck the sand. But I don’t know.

Anyone got any ideas?

Looks like rainbow obsidian.

It looks suspiciously like a lump of coal, especially if it has rolled around in the surf for a while…

A quick google does show rocks that look similar, but not quite.

And isn’t that a volcanic rock? On the sands of North Carolina?

Yeah the Outter Banks are called the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” because of all of the shiwrecks. Probably a lot of coal right offshore in sunken ships.

Probably not fulgerite.

If it’s coal you should be able to scrape some bits off with a knife. Put the bits in spoon and put the spoon on the stove. Anthracite’ll burn.

OK I 'll try it but if it is some bizarre compound that explodes and takes out central Virginia, I blame you. :slight_smile:

Errm, let me move a bit south, first.

I flaked off a piece about the size of a pea, and got a pan red hot. I let it it sat in the pan, unfazed, until the pan itself started to smoke.

Looks like anthracite. Like coal only better. If you can scratch it with a knife that would rule out most (if not all) meteorites.

I see that Fear Itself has already linked to anthracite.

Hold your sample directly in a gas flame.

Dammit its a space rock!

[Joe Dirt]
Meteor Bert: Well, it ain’t a meteor.
Joe Dirt: Yeah it is. It came out of the sky.
Meteor Bert: Well I’m sure it did but it ain’t no meteor. It’s a big ol frozen chunk o’ shit.
Joe Dirt: What!
Meteor Bert: Oh yeah, see them airplanes they dump their toilets 36,000 feet. The stuff freezes and falls to earth. We call ‘em Boeing bombs
[chomps teeth]
Joe Dirt: no that can’t be. That’s not what it is
Meteor Bert: oh, afraid so. See that peanut? Dead giveaway.
Joe Dirt: Uhhh, no, that’s a space peanut.
Meteor Bert: No, afraid not. That just a big ol’ frozen chunk of poopy.
[/Joe Dirt]

It looks like anthracite but it wouldn’t be found naturally there. OP, can you get a close-up of the interior of the rock where it broke apart?

Anthracite has a very high heat of ignition - you won’t ignite it in a pan. But it will burn. If you had any possible way to measure density, you could see if it has a specific gravity of about 1.1 to 1.4.

From the pictures, it looks like anthracite. I have…some knowledge of coal, but I can’t really say for certain without seeing it.

I’m thinking…slag. Waste from iron smelting.

Space slag?

Absolutely. Heck, the substance of that rock and every single thing you see and feel around you was formed in a supernova explosion some 7-10 billion years ago. How cool is that?

Paging Anthracite, I mean Una Person…

Pssst. Post #15