Monday, April 18, 2016

Desert Glass For Monday Mystery...!

One of the biggest mysteries to come out of the desert for many years is the origins of a mysterious field of glass.

Glass can be formed from the sands of the desert if the sand is heated to impossibly high temperatures. I'm sure you know that a nuclear explosion could cause some glass to form. However that wasn't the case with the glass in question here. From Listverse, here is the whole story!

Desert Glass



Photo via Wikipedia

Tests on a scarab jewel that once belonged to King Tut proved that the glass it was made from was produced before the earliest Egyptian civilization. Curious for answers, scientists discovered an area in the Sahara Desert where mysterious blocks of glass litter the sand. The first atomic test in New Mexico in 1945 left a similar fingerprint.

The detonation left behind a thin sheet of glass, but the Egyptian glass eclipsed the test site in sheer size. Whatever event made the glass had to be hotter than an atomic explosion. The suspects include a meteor impact or a phenomenally hot air burst. Since there is no evidence of an impact crater, scientists tested the air burst theory with computer simulations. Results showed that if a Shoemaker-Levy type impact exploded into Earth’s atmosphere, the resulting fireball would hit the ground surface like a furnace, cooking sand into glass with temperatures up to 18,000 degrees Celsius (32,500°F).

Interestingly enough, this correlates with the zircon that was found in the Sahara glass. By measuring how degraded the zircon is, the heat the sample was exposed to can be calculated. The Egyptian glass gave a reading roughly the same as the simulation. Nothing terrestrial can create that kind of heat, which makes the air burst theory very plausible.

Whatever it was, it’s hit the planet before. In Southeast Asia, 800,000-year-old glass stretches over an area of almost 800 square kilometers (300 mi2). It’s suggestive of an event deadlier than the one that created the Egyptian glass field.

Whatever got hot enough to melt the sand like that is a little too hot for me. Don't think I want my bath water that hot, for sure!

Coffee inside again this morning. Don't have a clue what this crazy weather is going to do!

6 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

Interesting!

linda m said...

Heat that can melt sand in my opinion is caused by something from outer space. Interesting story this morning.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
It is at that!
Thanks for stopping by today!


Hey Linda...
I have to agree with you on that.
Thanks for coming over today!

JO said...

This is very interesting. It had to be a really large and hot metor to make the glass. Lots of pondering to do over this one.

See you in the kitchen

Dizzy-Dick said...

The early Earth was bombarded by many objects and some of the larger ones could have created that glass. Or maybe it was a large fire breathing dragon that went on a rampage. . . .

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
It must have very big and very HOT!
Thanks for dropping by today!


Hey Dizzy...
That must have been some temper tantrum the dragon threw!
Thanks for the visit today!