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Tektite Meteorites

Tektikes are small, gravelly natural glass projectiles that are the unique byproduct of a meteorite or comet's impact with the Earth. Ranging significantly in size and shape, tektites have played a role in human history for some time.

Though theories about their formation differ, the generally accepted assumption is that tektites are formed based on a chemical reaction between the mineral contents of the soil at the spot where a meteorite or comet makes impact. The sheer heat of these projectiles causes the creation of small droplets or splashes of natural glass that fall back to the Earth's surface.

This forceful creation results in a variety of shapes and sizes of tektites. While some are smoother and more uniform, others assume more organic, oblong shapes with rough, dynamic contours. The terrain in which the tektite lands continues to tailor its surface, adding increasing patterning or texture. Tektites are one of the wonders of the natural world and a reminder of the intense impact that occurs between space and our planet.

Quick Facts

  • Tektite meteorites are typically found in strewn fields, which are located around the globe including the southern coast of Australia, central Africa, central Europe, and the southeastern United States
  • The largest recorded tektite was discovered in 1971. Found in Thailand, the tektite weighed more than 23 pounds
  • One of the most brilliant (and rare) forms of tektite is moldavite, which typically assumes a lovely olive green shade

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