Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Statue from Outer Space

Very often, the real world is essentially weird. Sometimes, too, it aligns with weirdness in fiction. If I were to tell you of a statue made from a material originating in outer space, carved by an unknown artist in an unknown time and place, and depicting an unknown figure, would I be describing fact or fiction? Or maybe both?
The figure . . . was between seven and eight inches in height, and of exquisitely artistic workmanship . . . . Its vast, awesome, and incalculable age was unmistakable . . . .
[O]f unknown age [and] carved from a rare class of space rocks known as ataxite meteorites . . . . the statue is about 9.5 inches tall and weighs about 23 pounds.
The first passage describes the statuette of Cthulhu from "The Call of Cthulhu." The second describes a recently identified "space Buddha," a statue studied by German scientists and supposedly described in an online journal called Meteoritics & Planetary Science. (My brief attempt to find the journal turned up nothing.) You can read more in the original Yahoo "news" story, "Nazi-Acquired Buddha Statue Came from Space" by Stephanie Pappas, here.

Update (October 25, 2012): An update from Yahoo "news" on the statue from outer space questions its supposed antiquity. It turns out the statue may actually be a twentieth century artifact--still carved from a meteorite, but still perhaps no older than your grandmother. You can read more in the article "'Space Buddha' Statue May Be a Fake" by Stephanie Pappas, here.

Text and captions copyright 2012 Terence E. Hanley

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