In 1996, in a strange area of the Sahara Desert, researchers discovered an equally strange stone. They nicknamed it Hypathia, and to the surprise of scientists around the globe, this mystery stone may be the strangest alien object EVER found.
The ‘Hypathia’ stone has been found to contain micro-mineral compounds that have never been seen on Earth, in any comet or asteroid or anywhere else in the solar system.
A new study has revealed that the components found within it are not found anywhere on Earth, and there are also great possibilities that the stone does not belong to the Solar System either. Hypatia was discovered in 1996 in the Sahara Desert, in Egypt.
Despite the fact it was discovered more than 20 years ago, it wasn’t until 2013, that researchers from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, confirmed that the stone is of extraterrestrial origin, thus becoming a unique object on Earth.
To decipher more details about the mysterious Hypatia rock, scientists decided to analyze its chemical composition.
To do this, they examined the carbonaceous matrix and discovered that space rock lacks the mineral known as silicate, which is usually found in space objects that move within the Solar System.
The principal investigator, Jan Kramers, stressed that this stone has broken all known schemes.
“If it were possible to grind up the entire planet Earth to dust in a huge mortar and pestle, we would get dust with on average a similar chemical composition as chondritic (rocky) meteorites,” said Kramers.
“In chondritic meteorites, we expect to see a small amount of carbon and a good amount of silicon. But Hypatia’s matrix has a massive amount of carbon and an unusually small amount of silicon. Even more unusual, the matrix contains a high amount of very specific carbon compounds, called polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), a major component of interstellar dust, which existed even before our solar system was formed. Interstellar dust is also found in comets and meteorites that have not been heated up for a prolonged period in their history,” added Kramers.
Using state-of-the-art electron microscopy, researchers wanted to determine the minerals of the stone that were not added when it impacted Earth. They discovered that the stone appeared to have formed before the formation of the sun and planets.
As noted by Popular Mechanics, ‘the elements are the same—carbon and silicon and aluminum and iron—but the ratios of these elements in the material are all wrong, unlike the composition of objects that orbit the sun.’
Also, Krames said that Hypatia was formed in a cold environment.
The carbon compounds or polyaromatic hydrocarbons present in Hypatia are a major component of interstellar dust that is believed to have existed even before the formation of our Solar System.
Therefore, the latest study on the chemical composition of the stone could prompt scientists to reconsider the formation of the Universe.