From the Vault: Black Stone of Mecca

A picture taken early on July 16, 2015 from the Abraj al-Bait Towers, also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, shows Muslim worshipers praying at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, a day before the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The Grand Mosque, which contains Islam's holiest site the Kaaba, can now hold 1.85 million people. AFP PHOTO / STR

The Kaaba marks the geographic center of the Islamic world, and here one finds Al-Hadjar Al-Aswad, the Holy Black Stone of Mecca. Islamic traditions hold that the once white white stone blackened with humanity’s sins, but various scientific theories point to geological and potentially cosmic origins. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the mythic, historical and scientific substance of the Kaaba. (Originally published on Feb. 16, 2017)

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Topics in this Podcast: From the Vault, space, Islam, religion