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The Story of My As-Yet-Unverified Impact Crater

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the dent-in-the-world dept.

Earth 250

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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Your backyard.. (5, Funny)

eexaa (1252378) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239804)

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

Re:Your backyard.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240014)

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

Even worse, what if it was slashdotted ... by niggers!

Re:Your backyard.. (4, Funny)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240362)

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...

Re:Your backyard.. (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240808)

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

Hmm (4, Insightful)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239828)

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

Re:Hmm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34239900)

B: Clams don't have teeth.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34239960)

kind of reminds me of this more..

Joe Dirt [imdb.com]

Looks like a karst depression (5, Interesting)

damas (469487) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239836)

Could be a karst landform http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karst_topography [wikipedia.org] . Carbonate rock will react with water.

Re:Looks like a karst depression (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239920)

Carbonate rock will react with water.

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

Re:Looks like a karst depression (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239956)

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:Looks like a karst depression (0, Flamebait)

SirThe (1927532) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240752)

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.

What the fuck? Who cares? Relatively fast geologically doesn't mean you are going to notice anything by dropping it in a glass of fucking tap water, dude.

Re:Looks like a karst depression (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240114)

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.

Re:Looks like a karst depression (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239952)

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

Re:Looks like a karst depression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240820)

I see some crop circles and a crop penis in the upper right of the image. Perhaps it's an alien landing zone.

never heard of metorites reacting with water (3, Interesting)

scapermoya (769847) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239838)

my guess is that you have something along the lines of calcium carbide in those rocks

Re:never heard of metorites reacting with water (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34239870)

That would be easy to test, calcium carbide produces acetylene, a flammable gas.

Re:never heard of metorites reacting with water (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239880)

One thing is for sure - I wouldn't call it shrapnel

Re:never heard of metorites reacting with water (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239972)

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.

Re:never heard of metorites reacting with water (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240098)

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?

Re:never heard of metorites reacting with water (5, Interesting)

AnswerIs42 (622520) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240024)

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:never heard of metorites reacting with water (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240534)

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...

Re:never heard of metorites reacting with water (3, Insightful)

speroni (1258316) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240546)

Does it not rain there?

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

Re:never heard of metorites reacting with water (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240716)

Calcium Carbide is man made and doesnt exist in nature...

Take it to a uni (4, Insightful)

Old Wolf (56093) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 :)

Re:Take it to a uni (4, Insightful)

Kreychek (264929) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239860)

But if an expert told him, it wouldn't be unverified... or a crater, and thus not newsworthy.

Re:Take it to a uni (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240640)

It's still not newsworthy. What the shit, Slashdot?

Re:Take it to a uni (5, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239946)

They'll just say it's a sinkhole or something, then insist that Global Warming is real and then pretend The Earth is really much older than the 6000 years old we all know it to be and that we all evolved from monkeys and that The Earth really goes around the sun, and that pi is bigger than 3. I wouldn't believe a scientist!

(Sorry. Am I being too mean here?)

Re:Take it to a uni (4, Funny)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239982)

(Sorry. Am I being too mean here?)

Only if the strawman is sentient.

Re:Take it to a uni (5, Funny)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240632)

My father was a strawman, you insensitive clod!

Re:Take it to a uni (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240088)

and that pi is bigger than 3.

pi is bigger than 3, it's 3.141592654

Re:Take it to a uni (1)

scum-e-bag (211846) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240152)

That is actually larger than pi... The real value of pi is:

3.14159265358979323846264338

Re:Take it to a uni (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240164)

Does it go on forever?

Yes.

Re:Take it to a uni (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240376)

mmmm pie

Homerian (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240734)

mmmmmm.....
endless Pi.....
it just keeps going....

Re:Take it to a uni (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240682)

No. The real value of pi is strawberry rhubarb. All other values are just cheap imitations.

Re:Take it to a uni (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240210)

pi is bigger than 3, it's 3.141592654

pi is smaller than 3.141592654, it's 3.1415926536.

Re:Take it to a uni (1)

terminallyCapricious (1838672) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240748)

I wouldn't believe a scientist!

YeAh BrOtHeR, tHeM mOtHeRfUcKeRs AlL uP aNd LyIn', AnD gEtTiNg Me PiSsEd!

It looks like an impage crater... of sorts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34239854)

It really does look like an impact site from the Google image. The crater is elongated to the North, and it really does look like a large circular raised area at the North end. It looks just like what happens when you throw a coin edge-on into wet sand from a very shallow angle. Anyone agree?

Re:It looks like an impage crater... of sorts (1)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240162)

Coin edged? So you think it's a UFO that crashed there?

Re:It looks like an impage crater... of sorts (3, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240602)

An impact crater look very differently from what happens when you toss a coin. Hint: there's a *BIG* explosion when the kinetic energy is suddenly transformed into heat.

No matter how shallow is the angle, impact craters are always nearly circular and symmetric. The material is suddenly compressed with a huge amount of energy and heats up to thousands of degrees. The resulting explosion propagates to all directions, independent of which direction the meteor came from.

skeptics... unite! (2, Insightful)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239892)

are you (my fellow /.ers) sure this isn't a stalking horse for some kind of viral advertisement / alternate reality game?

Sinkhole sounds plausible; impact crater not. (3, Informative)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

You know why? (2, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239896)

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 certainly not a crater. I mean, just compare it to a picture of an actual crater [wikipedia.org] ; they're nothing alike.

And then you go off about "oooh when I put water on these rocks they bubble!", like you've never heard of limestone (and it sounds like you probably haven't), and "I found weird lumps of metal!" like you've never heard of (oh I don't know) humans leaving shit around.

Seriously, you sound like the worst sort of credulous idiot. There's a reason why they say "ten hours in the lab will save you an hour in the library" - do some reading up on even the most basic geology first (and I mean fucking basic, not the awesome stuff like impact craters or mega sinkholes or what have you), then start telling people about how awesome it is. I'm sure that formation is, actually, very interesting - you don't get areas with (apparently) a lot of water and a lot of limestone without at least some neat stuff happening - but you don't need to start by making shit up!

Re:You know why? (1)

darrylo (97569) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239932)

rofl. I'd give you a bazillion "informative" points, if I could.

Re:You know why? (5, Insightful)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 2 years ago | (#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? (5, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | more than 2 years ago | (#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? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:You know why? (1)

DEmmons (1538383) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240224)

OMG, he's found Mel's Hole! [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel's_hole [wikipedia.org] ] But seriously, you are dead on, and I only wish I could be this direct with such people. Nice or not, I believe it's what he needs to hear.

Re:You know why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240392)

Am I being too cynical or does this reek of a poor attempt to get a films hype off the ground?
It smells like Blair Witch and War of the Worlds had a baby...

If it's not then enjoy what must be a special place and don't take the haters to heart, read the very useful tips on how to find out what's there like cutting the rocks or burning the rocks. Film at 11....

Re:You know why? (1, Insightful)

pacov (512801) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240592)

Ha, your posts are truly an awesome display of knowledge. Hammering out the inconsistencies of the summary with breath taking facts that you possess about this specific place and this guy's attempts to learn about this area.

Oh wait, no you state nothing definitely anywhere in your couple of rants, peppering your insightful views with "probably", "perhaps", and then directly making up some self serving fact to support your early morning mental meltdown (e-mailed the geologist blah blah blah... wow, you have some nads to call someone credulous, you're the epitome of credulous... making shit up to support your own fact deficient rants).

As far as I can tell, the poster went to a professional to get some understanding of the area, professional says it's probably a sink hole, he later finds some rocks that he doesn't recognize, he posts to Slashdot for some insight (you know, part of a path to knowledge), and you direct him to an image of the moon and ramblings of migrating Mayans.

I think I'll stick with the guy on the early path to rock knowledge... you sir, scare me.

Re:You know why? (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240596)

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] .

Re:You know why? (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240722)

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? (-1, Troll)

BradleyAndersen (1195415) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240060)

Correct:

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

IICV: Is it fun to live your life as a completely ignorant, mean-spirited fucking prick?

Here's a hint: You don't always have to win, and you don't always have to be the smartest kid in the room. No go place nice with your little sister.

y'all being trolled (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240130)

soulskill should not have approved this non-story, because tetrahedrassface is not an enthusiastic ignoramus, he is a troll, and yall fell for it.

there are literally millions of enthusiastic children discovering science all over the world, that doesn't mean it would make a great slashdot story, because it wouldn't. tetrahedrassface is not a child, is not enthusiastic about science, or ignorant; ignoramii don't know Cerberus.

this "story" doesn't belong anywhere on slashdot, it is a complete time waster, and you fell for it.
tetrahedrassface is laughing at you
tetrahedrassface is laughing at you
tetrahedrassface is laughing at you
tetrahedrassface is laughing at you
tetrahedrassface is laughing at you
tetrahedrassface is laughing at you
tetrahedrassface is laughing at you

Re:You know why? (4, Insightful)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240100)

> 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.

Seems geologist was politer than IICV (4, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Seems geologist was politer than IICV (2, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240066)

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 story about the place than in actually doing the research and finding out what's happening there. I mean, really, more power to you if you want to do that - but don't demand that everyone else respect you for your made up bullshit, and refrain from pointing out how you're being dumb.

Re:Seems geologist was politer than IICV (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240508)

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.

Re:You know why? (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240000)

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:You know why? (1, Insightful)

prettything (965473) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240064)

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:You know why? (2, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240680)

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.

Re:You know why? (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240120)

"And in the end, only kindness matters"

Re:You know why? (1)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240236)

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.

Re:You know why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240280)

You're really one trigger-happy dick. Woe your social life.

well gee (1)

fireylord (1074571) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240416)

way to totally overreact to someone's inquisitiveness in a totally negative and unnecessarily vitriolic manner!

go you!

well gee, this isn't idle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240582)

you want to waste time with hoaxy nonsense , go to idle
seeing how this isn't idle, flame on

Re:You know why? (0)

Iskender (1040286) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240426)

Seriously, you sound like the worst sort of credulous idiot.

You're obviously not completely ignorant about the science. Yet your language makes you sound really insecure. Or just really socially incompetent.

I'm proud of knowing a lot of things about a lot of things myself. I sure hope it doesn't make me the kind of asshole your post makes you look like.

Re:You know why? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240550)

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.

Re:You know why? (1)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240556)

Whilst this was informative I don't see the need to belittle the person as you did. Did it somehow make you feel superior? I guess calling somebody an idiot is ok. Shame.

Re:You know why? (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240800)

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

Re:You know why? because he was curious (1)

KeithH (15061) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240818)

We need more curious people. What we do not need is more rude and discouraging people like yourself and, possibly, the professor.

Cut it! (5, Informative)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239898)

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

Re:Cut it! (3, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239970)

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! (3, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#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."

Re:Cut it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240744)

Either way we'll find out what it is...

Re:Cut it! (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240844)

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.

Re:Cut it! (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240552)

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.

Re:Cut it! (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240642)

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 (5, Informative)

RWarrior(fobw) (448405) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (3, Informative)

Pentagram (40862) | more than 2 years ago | (#34239948)

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.

The Truth is Out There! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34239964)

...but lol anyways. Hey my girl friend has a giant sink hole, here, maybe i should a picture in for analysis.

Re:The Truth is Out There! (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240126)

Because this is slashdot, I assume that statement is false on more than one count!

Have studied Geomorphology (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Have studied Geomorphology (-1, Troll)

IICV (652597) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240128)

That sounds like work. The original submitter clearly prefers to spend his time tromping around in the pit collecting "weird metals" and "strange rocks that react to water" and making sensationalistic Slashdot posts over doing some actual science that would help him better understand the area he spent so much time in as a child.

Re:Have studied Geomorphology (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240320)

I've read all your other posts on this story and thought you were one of the few being the sane voice of reason, but this post is just dickish.

Re:Have studied Geomorphology (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240686)

No it's not, the post is actually quite an good description of what the poster appears to have been doing and offers the poster some good advice into the bargain.

The metal looks meteoric guys. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240034)

It's obvious that there are many reasons to be incredulous, but the metal samples look exactly the way you expect meteoric iron to look.

I personally find it insulting that people would talk about how impact craters look, and then link to a wikipedia site that shows images of craters in environments with no significant weather, an insubstantial atmosphere and no life. It is as though the idea that a crater would look very different 100 or 200 years after an impact on Earth has not even begun to cross your mind.

While it might not seem unusual to you for someone to randomly find iron in a depression, it seems very unusual to me to find such irregularly shaped pieces of metal lying in what appears to be a rather rural area.

This might help the original poster: http://www.aerolite.org/found-a-meteorite.htm

Chemistry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240122)

Many metals react strongly to acid. I am sure even a very rudimentary chemistry book may help you to identify that better.

Meteorwrongs (4, Informative)

jolyonr (560227) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240216)

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!

Re:Meteorwrongs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240794)

AHHH me too!..... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_carbide

First Lovecraft post ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240258)

Is there a strange colour blinking out of the crater ? Perhaps you should call the Arkham university.

Maybe yes, maybe no, hard to say from here... (4, Informative)

rgbatduke (1231380) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240306)

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

Re:Maybe yes, maybe no, hard to say from here... (3, Interesting)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240570)

> It could easily be a meteor crater or a sinkhole, or even an old quarry

Given that the posted feature has a second landform that appears largely identical just to the upper left, I'm going with quarry.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240452)

If you suspect that it might be an impact crater, then there are some very simple inexpensive things you can do to at least find out if you are on track or not...

1st) Go online (or the telly if you have the Science Channel) and watch an episode of "Meteorite Men" ( http://meteoritemen.com/ ). From this you will gleem enough basics of searching and tools to do a beginners job at the site.

2nd) Get a really good magnet. If a meteorite can make it to ground, then it had to be made up of a dense material such as an iron ore. Ergo, take your found samples and if they react to magnet then you may be on to something.

3rd) Get, rent, borrow a decent metal detector for the same reason mentioned in number two.

4th) If all above fails, then start composing a story of a crashed UFO. Sell tickets to the "believers" flocking to the site. Least this way you can make a profit off of it. After all, P.T. Barnum was right... One is born everyday.

Acids vs. bases (2, Informative)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240564)

> 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.

Where does the water go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34240586)

If it is a crater then why is it not a pond? That is where does the water that settles in the bottom go? Therefore sink hole is the most likely answer.

It's badly-fitting chunks. (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 2 years ago | (#34240732)

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 someone had entirely too much fun with TNT. OTOH, if someone bombed down that far below the surface they'd had to have hit rock along the way and the surface is clearly the wrong color for that.
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