Exraterrestrial crystal in Siberia

Rare Extraterrestrial Crystal Found in Siberia is the Only Natural Quasicrystal on Earth

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In a remote corner of the world, in the Koryak Mountains in Far-Eastern Siberia, scientists discovered a rare extraterrestrial crystal dating back to the birth of our solar system, 4.5 billion years ago, making it as old or even older than Earth itself.  It is believed that the exotic mineral came to Earth on a meteorite.

An international team of researchers led by Princeton University scientists analysed the crystal and discovered that it has an extremely unique composition, so unusual in fact that it was thought impossible to exist.  Although the crystal looks quite normal on the outside, the inner structure is unlike anything found on Earth, making it the world’s only known sample of naturally occurring quasicrystal .

A quasicrystal, is a structure that is ordered but not periodic. A quasicrystalline pattern can continuously fill all available space, but it lacks translational symmetry. Instead of the regularly repeating clusters of atoms, quasicrystals contain more intricate atomic arrangements.

Until now, experts believed that quasicrystals could only be formed under laboratory conditions. However, the latest discovery in Siberia has turned this notion on its head.  "The finding is important evidence that quasicrystals can form in nature under astrophysical conditions, and provides evidence that this phase of matter can remain stable over billions of years," said physicist Paul Steinhardt, the Albert Einstein Professor in Science at Princeton.

To uncover the origin of the natural quasicrystal sample, the team of scientists tested numerous possibilities, including the chance that the sample was actually a byproduct of industrial manufacturing. However, their analyses showed that the crystal was embedded in stishovite, a mineral found in meteorites, indicating that the quasicrystal and stishovite formed together through a natural high-pressure process.

The team of investigators then examined the rations of different isotopes of oxygen which vary according to whether the minerals formed on Earth or in space. The results clearly revealed that the ratio of oxygen isotopes is indicative of formation in space.

By John Black

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Ancient Technology

The Antikythera Mechanism, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece
Every time ancient Greece is mentioned most people automatically think of democracy, the Olympic Games, mythology and philosophy. It seems that not many are aware of how advanced the ancient Greeks were on a technological level as well and the Antikythera Mechanism, known as the world’s first analog computer, is the brightest example of all.

Ancient Places

View of the “Cueva del Pirul”, one of the largest systems of interconnected caves to the East of the Pyramid of the Sun. One can notice the many rough pillars left to support the roof and a number of side passages branching out in different directions.
Few of the modern visitors to Teotihuacan are aware of the vast and mysterious underworld of caves and man-made tunnels that extends under much of the ancient site and for miles around. The existence of these tunnels has been known for centuries, but not even the most recent research has been able to solve the mystery of their origin and purpose. Very much like at Giza, in Egypt, these tunnels are rumored to connect all the main pyramids by means of underground passageways, and perhaps even lead to the records of a lost civilization.

Opinion

View of the “Cueva del Pirul”, one of the largest systems of interconnected caves to the East of the Pyramid of the Sun. One can notice the many rough pillars left to support the roof and a number of side passages branching out in different directions.
Few of the modern visitors to Teotihuacan are aware of the vast and mysterious underworld of caves and man-made tunnels that extends under much of the ancient site and for miles around. The existence of these tunnels has been known for centuries, but not even the most recent research has been able to solve the mystery of their origin and purpose. Very much like at Giza, in Egypt, these tunnels are rumored to connect all the main pyramids by means of underground passageways, and perhaps even lead to the records of a lost civilization.

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At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

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Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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