Mysterious Emerald of Tunguska Event

Lidiya Korshunova, a historian and geologist, said her husband found the 'emerald' after hiking with friends to mark his birthday 35 years ago. The men initially believed his find was 'artificial', some kind of glass, linking it, perhaps, to an abandoned mine nearby. This sample - and another he picked up - were used as decorations in the family fish tank. It was only much later that Lidiya, after reading the papers of Soviet mineralogist and geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky, she began to suspect her aquarium contained something valuable.

Analysis of the 'glass stone' found that compared to ordinary bottle glass it was 7.5 times richer in nickel, 6 times in copper, 20 times in zinc, 3 times in cobalt, 3 times in titanium, and 40 times in chrome. As such, it could not be artificial. Such quantities of minerals have been found in tektites - some of which are also green. These are glassy objects formed as molten debris in meteorite impacts - and scattered widely through the air.

Renowned Russian scientist, Evgeny Dmitriev, formerly a chief specialist for the Russian Space Agency, suggested that this stone was an orbital travelling companion of the Tunguska meteor which exploded over Siberia on 30 June 1908.

Evidently similar stones - but of a much smaller size - have been found at the epicentre of the Tunguska 'event', which flattened more than 2,000 square kilometres (770 square miles) while causing no known casualties.

The place where the stone is found is some 670 km from the epicentre over Tunguska, also in Krasnoyarsk region. Lidya's stone - now exhibited in the closed town of Zelenogorsk, famous for uranium mining - where she lives. It is called Kanskit - after the Kan River.

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