Arts, Culture & Media

German Geologist Says Buddhist Statue Made From Ancient Meteorite

For our Geo Quiz, take a close look at the Iron Man.

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The Iron Man is a small, ten inch statue of the Buddhist god Vaisravana. It was sculpted sometime back in the 11th century out of an unusual rock that itself is much older.

The sculpture was discovered in Tibet in the 1930"²s by a Nazi sponsored team that brought art and other valuable objects back to Germany.

Now German scientists who've examined the rock that the statue is carved out of say it comes from something called the Chinga. The Chinga altered the Earth's landscape about 15-thousand years old.

Do you know what the Chinga is? or where it left its mark on the Earth?

Elmar Buchmer, a geologist at the University of Stuttgart in Germany, concludes the Iron Man statue is carved out of a remnant of the Chinga meteorite that slammed into the border region between modern day Mongolia and Siberia fifteen thousand years ago.

Buchner's findings published in the scientific journal Meteorics and Planetary Science suggest the statue is unique: it's the only human figure ever to have been found that is carved out of a meteorite stone.

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    Credit:

    AFP

    An undated handout picture released on September 26, 2012 shows a thousand year-old ancient Buddhist statue known as the Iron Man which is believed to represent a stylistic hybrid between the Buddhist and pre-Buddhist Bon culture that portrays the god Vaisravana. The statue was discovered in 1938 by an expedition of German scientists led by renowned zoologist Ernst Schäfer and supported by Nazi SS Chief Heinrich Himmler. A team from Stuttgart University have analysed the statue and were able to classify it as an ataxite, a rare class of iron meteorite.
    AFP PHOTO/ELMAR BUCHNER
    RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/ELMAR BUCHNER/STUTTGART UNIVERSITY" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

  • ironman2-e1349116742631.jpg

    Credit:

    AFP

    An undated handout picture released on September 26, 2012 shows a thousand year-old ancient Buddhist statue known as the Iron Man which is believed to represent a stylistic hybrid between the Buddhist and pre-Buddhist Bon culture that portrays the god Vaisravana. The statue was discovered in 1938 by an expedition of German scientists led by renowned zoologist Ernst Schäfer and supported by Nazi SS Chief Heinrich Himmler. A team from Stuttgart University have analysed the statue and were able to classify it as an ataxite, a rare class of iron meteorite.
    AFP PHOTO/ELMAR BUCHNER
    RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/ELMAR BUCHNER/STUTTGART UNIVERSITY" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

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