Mysterious glass found in Egypt’s Western Desert

Mysterious glass known as Libyan Desert Glass confirmed to be created by meteorite forces almost 29 million years ago has been found in Egypt’s Western desert.

Researchers agreed that this strange glass was originally fragmented throughout both the Egyptian and Libyan Saharan Deserts due to the explosion of an asteroid in the atmosphere, Dailymail reported.

Naturally created with no structured shape, glass is immediately formed once the molten materials cool. This glass was also identified in an ancient scarab made of the exact material and found beside Tutankhamen’s burial materials.

Several ingredients found in the glass, including zircon, were investigated by researchers at Australia’s Curtin University. Results showed that the examined zircon includes a mineral called reidite that is formed under a meteorite effect only.

“It has been a topic of ongoing debate as to whether the glass formed during meteorite impact, or during an airburst,” said Aaron Cavosie from Curtin University, according to Dailymail.

“Both meteorite impacts and airbursts can cause melting. However, only meteorite impacts create shock waves that form high-pressure minerals,” he added.

Moreover, the air blast that took place in Russia in 2013 encouraged people to support the idea that the glass was formed amid airburst, according to Dailymail.

“Previous models suggested that Libyan desert glass represented a large, 100-megatonnes (Mt) class airburst, but our results show this is not the case,” Mr. Cavosie mentioned, according to Dailymail.

Photo credit: Dailymail

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