Libyan Desert Glass (LDG), also known as Great Sand Sea Glass or Egyptian Gold Tektite, is a rare and mysterious material found in the Libyan Desert of Egypt. It is a type of impactite, formed when silica sand is melted to extremely high temperatures by a meteorite impact. LDG is nearly pure silica, and is one of the hardest natural substances on Earth. It is also known for its beautiful golden color, which ranges from translucent to opaque.
Libyan Desert Glass - Formation, Properties, Where to Find it
Libyan Desert Glass is found scattered over an area of hundreds of square kilometers in the Libyan Desert. The largest piece ever found was over 2 kilograms in weight. LDG is thought to have formed about 29 million years ago, but its exact origin is still a mystery. Some scientists believe that it was formed by a single, large meteorite impact, while others believe that it was formed by a series of smaller impacts.
Libyan Desert Glass Formation
The origin of Libyan Desert Glass is still a mystery, but most scientists believe that it was formed by a meteorite impact. This is supported by the fact that the glass is nearly pure silica, which requires extremely high temperatures to form. Additionally, the glass contains high levels of nickel and iron, which are common elements in meteorites. The impact generated tremendous heat and pressure, which melted the desert sand and rock, forming the glass. The glass is nearly pure silica, which requires temperatures above 1,600 °C to form – hotter than any igneous rock on Earth.
|Libyan Desert Glass|
Another theory is that Libyan Desert Glass was formed by a volcanic eruption. This is supported by the fact that the glass is found in areas near ancient volcanoes. However, this theory is less likely because the glass is nearly pure silica, which is not typically found in volcanic rocks.
A lightning strike: A third theory is that LDG was formed by a lightning strike. However, lightning strikes are not known to produce enough heat to melt sand and sandstone.
Properties of Libyan Desert Glass
LDG is a very hard and durable material. It is also very heat-resistant, with a melting point of over 1700 degrees Celsius. LDG is typically yellow or gold in color, but it can also be found in a variety of other colors, including green, brown, and black.
Where to Find Libyan Desert Glass
Libyan Desert Glass is only found in one place in the world: the Great Sand Sea in the eastern Sahara Desert. The Great Sand Sea is a vast area of sand dunes and is one of the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth.
|Libyan Desert Glass Distribution Map|
Libyan Desert Glass can be found scattered throughout the Great Sand Sea, but it is most concentrated in a few specific areas. These areas are known as "scatterfields" and are characterized by a high concentration of LDG fragments.
Libyan Desert Glass is a valuable commodity and is highly sought after by collectors and crystal healers. As a result, it can be difficult to find and can be expensive to purchase.
Uses of Libyan Desert Glass
Libyan Desert Glass has been used by humans for thousands of years. It has been found in ancient Egyptian artifacts, including the scarab beetle on the breastplate of King Tutankhamun. The glass was also used to make tools and weapons by early civilizations.
Today, Libyan Desert Glass is a popular gemstone and is used to make jewelry, carvings, and other decorative objects. It is also believed to have metaphysical properties, and is used in meditation and spiritual practices.
|Exhibit in the University of Arizona Mineral Museum - |
University of Arizona - Tucson, Arizona, USA.