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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Mysterious glass scattered across the Chilean desert products of an ancient exploding comet

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About a decade ago, scientists detected scattered plots of black and green glass along a 47-mile corridor. Their origin was mysterious, but some researchers surmised that a fire had melted the soil, fusing and hardening the minerals.

Peter Schultz, a professor of geological sciences at Brown University, wasn't convinced by that theory when he visited the site in 2018. In addition to being scorched, the glass was twisted, folded, and sheared.

"These samples look like somebody was out there — some sort of cosmic God — simply folding over glasses to make some bread," Schultz told Insider. "It was one of those things that made my hair stand on end."

In a study published this week in the journal Geology, Schultz and his research team determined that an exploding comet or comet-like object fused the soil, leading to the formation of giant glass chunks. The researchers estimated that the explosion took place roughly 11,500 to 12,300 years ago, around the time when hunter-gatherers inhabited the region and large anima

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