The Gibeon Meteorites: Prehistoric Extraterrestrial Vestiges in Namibia

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The Gibeon Meteorites Plaque by the National Monuments Council

Several thousand years ago, a massive meteorite crashed on land in Namibia. A large portion of space rocks were found not too far from the village of Gibeon in Namibia, thus the name Gibeon meteorites. The local Nama people, and their ancestors before them, used to make metal iron tools and weapons from these rocks. In more recent times, in 1838, Captain J.E. Alexander stumbled upon them during his travels and sent specimens to the world famous astronomer John Herschel in England, who also named the 7 moons of Saturn and the 4 moons of Uranus; Herschel identified the Gibeon meteorites as extraterrestrial.

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Some of the Gibeon Meteorites at the Post Street Mall, Windhoek, Namibia

Since then, over 150 meteorites have been tracked and recovered, although some of the more valuable specimens have been stolen or smuggled out of the country or donated to various research institutions around the world. In 1950, 30 of these prehistoric extraterrestrial wonders were declared National Monument. Today, they are exposed on the Post Street Mall in the capital Windhoek. Additionally, all meteorites found in Namibia are automatically protected and classified as National Monuments, and must not be removed from where they have been found or damaged in any way.

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Gibeon Meteorites, Windhoek, Namibia

The Gibeon meteorites are rich in iron, nickel, and small amounts of cobalt. More nickel has been found in them compared to some other meteorites found elsewhere. The rock is crystalline when polished and etched. The strewnfield for Gibeon meteorites is perhaps the largest in the world.

If you ever visit Windhoek, please do not forget to stroll down Post Street Mall, and enjoy these prehistoric extraterrestrial wonders, and remember that some of our ancestors’ tools came from these.

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Overall view of the Gibeon Meteorites, Windhoek, Namibia

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