Last Fall I was scouring a bar in the middle of the North Umpqua River(South Western Oregon), exposed from the dry summer, and I came across this strange lightweight slug. Not exactly sure what it is. I have been told by people it looks "meteoritish" and told by others it looks like something human. This volcanic area of Oregon is known for Carnelian, Quartz, and Mercury, but ive never seen something like this. The groves in it are strange. Any ideas what it may be?
Mark from Faribault
It wouldn't surprise me if that is some aluminum scrap that has been folded, mangled, and rounded as it tumbled down the river and ended up in the gravel bar where you found it. I find similar looking pieces on the shore of Lake Erie when I am out looking for driftwood. I also keep my eyes open for beach glass and other oddities along the water edge. No telling what ou might find in those gravels.
I find a lot of glass in my crick, in certain places, but I don't keep any of it. The only glass I keep is when I find one of those glass insulators they used to use on the "open Wire" circuits that used to be strung back into the boonies. The last one I found was an AT&T green one from the early 19 hundreds.
There were a few old places that got flooded out, years ago, that contributed lots of old pottery, glass and other neat stuff. I find old soldiers and other toys sticking out to the gravel bars. Even an old wringer washing machine is buried in one spot near where I found a huge old tree carcass eroding out of the bank. It was wider then any 3 present day trees put together, like the old white Oak, red Spruce and Hemlocks that used to cover this area when the native Americans trod along this crick.
I'm with Al on this one - my first impression was also some sort of aluminum scrap, perhaps melted and then rounded in a stream. This is none to exciting, but probably the answer.
Hey Christopher!Did you check to see if the object will conduct electricity?This simple test will at least tell you if the object is most likely metallic without damaging it.Simply use a small battery powered test light or a multimeter.You should also measure it's specific gravity and compare it to that of aluminum,magnesium,titanium,etcetera.
My vote is for aluminum.
It has the look of a stream weathered piece of aluminum. Looks very similar to a piece of aluminum I found on a cobble beach in Maine. I attributed its presence to a local boatyard located just up the beach.
It could be any of the things that were listed in this thread but considering the area of oregon that I think you are from here is my idea.
Terrestrial -- nickel-iron
Josephine County, Oregon, USA
Josephinite is exactly what first came to mind lol
I am reading the emails a little late, but have you checked the physical properties on this piece you found in the river gravels. Is it heavy? Does it have magnetic properties? Is it light in weight, and is the material soft? Can you scratch it with a pocket knife? If it is an aluminum slug, it would be lightweight, and easy to scratch, and if you scratched it on a piece of tile (backside) it would scratch gray. Just some thoughts, as I had metal detected what I thought was a meteorite, but turned out to be nickle slag, as tests revealed later. Good luck!!
The one thing not mentioned above is a platinum nugget. Plenty of gold nuggets have come out of the North Umpgua. Platinum nuggets have been found in northern California, but I am not sure about the Umpgua.