Wednesday, May 11, 2005

South African mystery spheres and the Iapetus enigma

This is quite interesting:

"Over the past several decades, South African miners have found hundreds of metallic spheres, at least one of which has three parallel grooves running around its equator. The spheres are of two types--'one of solid bluish metal with white flecks, and another which is a hollow ball filled with a white spongy center' (Jimison 1982). Roelf Marx, curator of the museum of Klerksdorp, South Africa, where some of the spheres are housed, said: 'The spheres are a complete mystery. They look man-made, yet at the time in Earth's history when they came to rest in this rock no intelligent life existed. They're nothing like I have ever seen before' (Jimison 1982)."

Unexplained grooved sphere from South Africa: a representation of Saturn's moon Iapetus?

Even more interesting is the discovery that Iapetus' conspicuous equatorial bulge, seen up close, appears to be composed of three distinct "layers" -- remarkably like the grooved rings encircling the enigmatic spheres described above. As the ever-controversial Richard Hoagland notes regarding Saturn's unlikely moon: "It is a well-known cliché that 'Nature doesn't usually create straight lines.' If that is true, then it certainly doesn't create three of them (close-up-below) -- all running parallel, not only to each other, but to the literal equator of the planet."

Given their strange similarity to Iapetus, could the South African spheres be manufactured representations of Saturn's moon (assuming a non-natural origin for the unexplained bulge)?

Recently, the prospect of alien intelligences choosing to communicate via physical "messages in a bottle" has gained notoriety, as tangible artifacts wafted into space are immune to the signal degradation that invariably afflicts electromagnetic transmissions. Extraterrestrials might choose to communicate long-distance (and over vast spans of time) by "broadcasting" large numbers of tangible artifacts. Ideally, such artifacts could communicate a message, however simple -- perhaps even referencing their place of origin. Additionally, dating such ET artifacts might help scientists determine when they were crafted; ultimately, they might serve as calling cards for any species advanced and fortunate enough to find them and recognize their potential significance.

If the grooved spheres are indeed ET artifacts, buried for millennia, what might they be trying to say? If they're representations of Iapetus, it's conceivable Iapetus is a message or beacon of some kind. Inexplicably oblate and adorned with a shallow ring, Iapetus might be a massive, simplified depiction of Saturn itself . . . in which case there might be something wholly unexpected waiting for us if and when we muster the foresight to go there.


W.M. Bear said...

Hypothesis: The entire Wall on Iapetus consists of three parallel grooved rings but large portions of the grooves have been filled in by crater ejecta material. Given the (perfectly parallel) grooved rings, it seems impossible that the Wall can be anything except an alien artefact (whether or not Iapetus in its entirety is artifical).

JohnFen said...

I ran a link about these spheres a couple of years ago, and someone left this comment:

"these are merely stratiform dendulosities that form anaerobically in the presence of silver/argon ligodendrites. they are quite common in many areas"

Not having any familiarity with the relevant fields (end being unable to enlighten myself with Google), I cannot comment on the comment myself, but merely pass it along FYI.

JohnFen said...

Oh, I will add one speculation about the grooves, which do look remarkable.

The three-ringed sphere appears to be a one-of-a-kind example out of hundred (or thousands) of similar spheres that lack grooves. It is not beyond conception that a sphere could get marked like that through random natural processes (being rolled between two rocks or something, maybe). If there is a sufficiently large number of these spheres, then it even becomes likely that one of them, somewhere, would get markings like that (or any other sort). The more spheres, the closer to a certainty this becomes.

This same reasoning applies to Iapetus, of course, however there aren't thousands of Iapetuses floating around out there, so the odds of it being accidental would float at the opposite end of that scale from the spheres.

Mac said...

Thanks, JohnFen. (In case you couldn't tell, this essay falls into my "unabashedly speculative" category. :-)

Mac said...

"If there is a sufficiently large number of these spheres, then it even becomes likely that one of them, somewhere, would get markings like that (or any other sort)."

Conversely, maybe they all started off with grooves but the vast majority had them eroded away by some natural process.

JohnFen said...

I could tell it was speculative, Mac, I was just running with it in my own way. :)

About them starting off with grooves -- that's entirely possible. "Equatorial ridges" on these spheres are actually pretty common. The photos of those ones aren't shown as often, though. Perhaps it's because the ones with the ridges don't look nearly as artificial.

What is these spheres are natural formations, but were of some kind of importance to a space-faring people, such that they modelled Iapetus after them?

Mac said...

"What is these spheres are natural formations, but were of some kind of importance to a space-faring people, such that they modelled Iapetus after them?"

Good one!

Anonymous said...

I have come across only one other location where objects of this form have been mentioned/collected. In the 19th century work, Bayard Taylors Travels, "Jouney to Central Africa" pg. 173 , the author came across specimens of this type of grooved "hollow" sphere lying in considerable numbers on the surface of a narrow valley with black sandstone deposits, in the vicinity of Korosko, while on a journey to Berber. These examples , unlike those in the South African mine, are at the surface , samples of which may be still obtained by travelers today. At any rate, it would be interesting to compare both types in a lab.

Mac said...

A geologist informed me the spheres are "pyrite nodules" and that the spheres are a "hoax." I wish he'd been a bit more specific...

W.M. Bear said...

Mac -- I doubt you'll find any geologist who'll tell you different. It's their programming. "A geologist informed me that the spheres can't possibly be natural formations. They've got to be artificial"? I don't THINK so!

Mac said...

I trust the geologist I emailed; there indeed seems to be a natural mechanism that produces grooved spheres, much to my surprise.

But frankly I was a little wary, since obviously a trained geologist is probably going to devise a plausible-sounding geological explanation for something like this if he or she doesn't understand it. I still have a few questions...

W.M. Bear said...

That was kind of my point. (I mean, look at how the geologists have handled Mars and the idea of even primitive life there, explaining away possible fossils, etc.) That said, I'm actually inclined to agree (just wanted vent against geologists!) For one thing, the stripes or bands (or whatever they are) aren't of uniform width, which they would likely be if they were artificial, it seems to me. But even if the spheres are "natural" it doesn't necessarily mean it's a hoax (just a mistaken interpretation). That's definitely a knee-jerk reaction.

Anonymous said...

When I first saw the photo of the ball, I thought that it must be some kind of hoax or joke. It looks exactly like a rather battered cricket ball (for you yanks, cricket is the sport played in England, and also, suspiciously, in many parts of Africa, during the summer season). Cricket balls are made from two hardened leather hemispheres sown together with wide seams (which are used to give the bowler grip so that he can spin the ball) exactly like those shown in the picture. They also have embossed lettering around the crown and are filled with a softish spongy material to give them rebound.

My first thoughts, therefore, were that this might be a hoax to discredit the ancient human/alien artifact theories. On further examination of the photo and of the written evidence, however, I find this slightly less likely.

Guendelman said...

This spheres are similar to proyect KEO, i think is the same like we do now on the proyect , what is leave a "messages in a bottle"
you can check this out on

In 50.000 years more when people find Keo may could think the same that we think now.

But why we dont open those spheres ?
Is no Intelillent reason to not do it. Or may be is a Fake to bring som Turist and money to that Country?

miners89 said...

What about Aura photography?

William said...

I think that these and other mysterious ancient artificialities were intentionally produced and hidden by a society or many societies who were very advanced but not able to remain on this world for some reason. They wanted any future residents to know they existed, but not to have any technology that might artficially advance their technological progress.
There is evidence of other intelligent life having inhabited our planet in the past littered all over the earth. Some of it is older than the human race, supposedly.

These spheres could be representations of planetoid features that are invisible to the naked eye. A kind of proof that the people who made them had advanced abilities. Like "See, we had more information than it would seem based on these low tech artifacts." If we had found these artifacts before we were able to explore the solar system, we would not have been able to recognize the significance.

I predict that as we keep exploring, many ancient mysteries will be revealed as having more signifcance than we imagined.

I also think we will find more advanced artifacts as we explore. I think that as we come to realize that a society older than ours once lived in our solar system, maybe even our planet, we will start finding evidence that they were more advanced.

A sort of parallel of acknowledgement and evidence determined by our own development.

If we never advance, we will never find it. No harm done in leaving a note if the people can't read it before they should be able to.

Indigobusiness said...

Roelf Marx also claims at least one of the spheres in his museum slowly rotates when set on a flat surface.

pwaxy said...

Hm, it reminds me of lower-grade freshwater pearls which have rings like that.

The human body can create concretions internally. The one type I see under the microscope at work fairly frequently, associated with ovarian and thyroid cancers, are called psammoma bodies. They are made of calcium deposits and look like a cross-section of a jawbreaker candy.

I've even read that nanobacteria may be the cause of this "intratumoral biomineralization".

Ok, I'm done biogeeking now.

Michael Gmirkin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael Gmirkin said...

Okay, most of these folks seem to not know much... Let's try another method: actual facts and parallels.

My (and a number of others') theory goes as follows: They're electrical concretions.

Let me tell you WHY I think this...

A number of reasons. Let's start first with parallels:

Iapetus is a good parallel. Most like it was a similarly electrical concretion. I know, it's hard to imagein electricity and magnetism on that scale, but it's not as "out there" as you think, if you've seen all the lightyears-long plumes of ejecta from the poles of stars, "supernovae", black holes, AGN's, etc. These are flows of charged particles, constricted in lightyears-long magnetic fields. Otherwise known as: you guessed it... Flows of charged particles are called currents. IE, electricity. Now that we know tht electricity flows in the form of charged particles in the universe at large, let us begin our discussion.

The next parallel I'll make is with similar objects found on Earth, and Mars.

On earth, these forms are known as Moqui Marbles, Shaman Stones, or Thunderballs.

On Mars, these forms are known as "blueberries." (Due to the false-color images from the rover, in which they appear "blue." They're actually hematite concretions, so they're probably morelike gray or silver-ish. Hematite is iron oxide, or for lack of a better term, rust. So, come to think of it, they might be reddish. Or not.)

(Generaic info on concretions, geodes, etc. Not terribly useful, though it does show hollow hematite concretions and mention that sometimes there is loose material inside the concretion, like pebble-y things, or other material. And the concretiosn are generally perfectly sealed. Often, or so I hear, they're positively pressurized as well. Suggesting that when they were formed they were in a low-pressure region [air?] and were lowered into a higher pressure region, such that the insides are not at the same pressure as the air outside... I've heard of instances of concretions spurting oil or other fluids when punctured, etc...)

(Geology of Utah. One or more of the photos shows piles or "puddles" of pea-sized pebbles/concretions. Very similar to "blueberries" found scattered all over on Mars. Also mentions much larger concretions with hematite outsides and sandstone insides... Wouldn't be surprised if they also founf hematite outsides and nothing inside. Lightning is a flash-process. IE, it very quickly discharges, does what it does and ends. In this process it can most likely scoop up material, compress it down with no chance to expel the contents, then drop it as the arc ends.)

("Pumpkin patch" of concretions, in the Colorado desert, here on Earth.)

(Moqui marbles vs martian Blueberries? I think we have a match!)

(More on "blueberries.")

(More on "blueberries.")

(Moqui Marbles vs Sandstone concretions vs Iapetus)

(What causes blueberries? One possibility is lightning/electricity. Replicated in the lab. Can't be said of other processes.)

Now then, let's compare to the magical coin-shrinkers... And see how they do it. It involves metal, electricity, concretion, shrinkage, and often spherical shapes... Sometimes with a ridge around the middle...

(Gallery; note several coins shrunken into spheres with ridges or to spheres, or to little more than concretions of a semi-conical, semi-spherical nature. And a page on theory. Basically, hit the coins with lots of voltage all at once. Presto, shrunken and/or mushed and/or spherical coins.)

So, we know that electricity can do it... Especially to conductive or magnetic substances. Hence, hematite seems to eb a good condidate as the conductor. Other stuff rollde up inside just didn't have time to get out of the way before it was sucked up and rolled in and compressed after it was flash-melted by the lightning bolt instantly liquifying it.

Long and short of it, concretions likely have an electrical nature in terms of their formation. The fact that they're often made of hematite seems suggestive of something. Though occasionally they're made of other substances, like sandstone... And they're not solely located in Africa, or the SW, others have been found elsewhere...

Hope this was enlightening! If you have questions, feel free to e-mail me. But, I hope the resources provided were enlightening enough, and you can now go off and do your own research using the keywords I've provided: electricity, moqui marbles, Martian blueberries, concretions, etc.

P.S. On the Iapetus issue, it may well have been electrically birthed from another body in the solar system... Likely which ever it's circling, but possibly not. Most likely this was at a time when planets were not in their current orbits, and may have had a couple "close encounters" of the orbital kind. And where their magnetic fields clashed, they may well have duelled with thunderbolts. Also may not have been as long ago as you think. Early civilizations chronicled the wars of the "gods," IE planets and/or heavenly bodies with the aspect of looking like a comet.

Anywho, I've probably said too much. Enjoy!

Anthony F Riordan Jr said...

Just as it is hard to get any professional to comment with an open mind and view the possible as possible, we as interested citizens of this world are kept blind to true realities in order to protect religion, government self prescribed security and as today it is called, economic security when referencing new energy. I would love for all those having found possible realities about our past, a long lost history or mars and moon annomolies to truly get together, begin funding a citizen science institute and start publishing findings as the new OFFICIAL position to gain public support. has never commented on HALE crater, 10,000 - 40,000 year old artifacts are just not commented on and then disapear from the public, sitings and other potential great discoveries are just put down by those supposedly leading our world into the next century when in fact they are blocking our growth as a civilization.

Great discussion, have a great day
Anthony F Riordan Jr.

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