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What Is the 13-Pound Metal 'Space Ball' That Left a 12.5-Foot Crater in Namibia?


"alloy known to man"

Metal ball from the sky found in Namibia. (Photo: National Forensic Science Institute via PhysOrg)

Officials are baffled as to the origin and purpose of a 13-pound metal ball that slammed into the grassland of northern Namibia.

The ball was found in November but due to investigations, officials postponed announcing the find, according to AFP (via PhysOrg). NASA and the European Space Agency have been contacted.

AFP reports that the ball is hollow with a diameter of 14 inches and appears to be two halves welded together. The metal is reported to be an "alloy known to man" and officials have said it is not an explosive or dangerous.

Space.com reports that the impact of the ball created a crater 13 inches deep and 12.5 feet in diameter. CNN notes that the sound of explosions were reported being heard around the time the ball was found but no evidence of an actual explosion was identified. CNN goes on to state that Paul Ludik, director of the country's National Forensic Science Institute, said no space agency has laid claim to the ball and examination is still being conducted.

AFP reports that similar balls in the past two decades have been found in southern Africa, Australia and Latin America.

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