It might not seem like much, but scientists in South Africa are calling a little black pebble the first evidence that a comet hit the Earth millions of years ago.
Found several years ago in southwestern Egypt, the mysterious rock was initially believed to be just another meteorite. But new research by the team of scientists shows that the carbon-rich specimen is actually a piece of the nucleus, or core, of a comet that hit the Sahara Desert about 28.5 million years ago.
"It's a typical scientific euphoria when you eliminate all other options and come to the realization of what it must be," the University of Johannesburg's Jan Kramers said in a written statement.
The scientists theorize that the comet in question exploded as it entered Earth's atmosphere way back when, decimating life in its path and melting grains of sand on the ground into yellowish glass (commonly called Libyan desert glass). It was among fragments of this glass that the pebble -- now dubbed "Hypatia" by researchers -- was found.
The team will present their findings Thursday at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The research is also scheduled to be published in the journal "Earth and Planetary Science Letters" in November.
All of the information in this article is courtesy of the Huffington Post.
Here is a look at some of the meteor craters that we are aware of and can see.
Kebira Crater, Egypt
Manicouagan Reservoir, Canada
Shoemaker Crater, Western Australia
Vredefort Dome, South Africa
Kaali Crater, Estonia
Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana
Clearwater Lakes double impact Crater, Quebec
Silverpit underwater Crater, North Sea
Gweni-Fada Crater, Chad
Morasko Crater, Poland
Barringer Meteor Crater, Arizona
Nordlinger Ries, Germany
Amguid Crater, Algeria