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No. 80: Mar-Apr 1992

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The Nullarbor Lode

For the last few hundred years people have been picking up sparsely strewn meteorites all over the planet. But Antarctic explorers, within the last few decades, found that thousands of meteorites have been concentrated in the ice of the southernmost continent. Even more recently, the desolate, desert-like Nullarbor ("no-trees") Plain, in Southern Australia, has been discovered to be another concentrated source of of meteorites. There may be millions there. The problem is that only 2.9% of them are iron meteorites, whereas those picked up in recent years around the planet-atlarge are 4.8% irons. The meteorites from the Antarctic lode, on the other hand, weigh in with only 2.2% irons. Why the marked differences? Could it be age? The Antarctic meteorites seem to be up to a million years old; those of Nullarbor, perhaps 16,000-18,000 years.

(Anonymous; "A Meteorite Bounty from Down Under," Sky and Telescope, November 1991.)

Comment. Perhaps pertinent is the observation that fossil meteorites are essentially nonexistent in geological formations older than a million years. This is an anomaly of itself!

From Science Frontiers #80, MAR-APR 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987