The Holy Black Stone of Mecca

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 and Joe discuss the mythic, historical and scientific substance of the Kaaba.

Top 5 Uses for a Meteorite

Catch yourself a meteorite? Time to put it to use...

Terry Pratchett's Meteorite Sword

Beloved "Discworld" author Terry Pratchett is now officially Sir Terry Pratchett, and he has a lovely meteorite-infused sword to go with the title. Yep, according to this news item from Australia, he forged the blade himself with help from his friend Jake Keen, an expert sword smith. Pratchett had a chuckle over the inevitably magic qualities of a blade made from space rocks, but it's important to point out that the use of meteoric iron in weapons is actually a very ancient practice.

Meteorites: To hunt or not to hunt?

In many countries (such as Gambia, Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, Argentina and India) meteorite ownership defaults to the government or state museums. As you might imagine, this puts varying restrictions on meteorite collecting, depending on where you are.

Are North African meteorite dealers enemies of science ?

Ever want to catch a falling star and put it in your pocket? Well don't do it! You could be bogarting valuable scientific data.