Mysterious metal ball from space falls in Namibia
This large metal ball was found in Namibian grasslands in November.
December 22nd, 2011
09:53 PM ET

Mysterious metal ball from space falls in Namibia

A large metal ball that fell from space into the Namibian grasslands last month is not alien, officials say, but that's about all they know for certain about the object.

According to a report on The Namibian website, the 13-pound metal sphere with two bumps on its poles was found by a farmer near Onamatunga in the Omunsati region between November 15 and November 20. Explosions were heard in the area before the discovery, but no evidence of an explosion was seen around the area where the object was found.

Paul Ludik, director of the country's National Forensic Science Institute, told The Namibian the sphere, with a circumference of 3.6 feet, is made of a "sophisticated" metal alloy that is known to man, but he said it has no markings that would identify it. No international space agency has claimed ownership, he said.

“A number of tests have been performed on the object, and it appears to be hollow. We are still busy with a detailed examination of the object,” The Namibian quotes him as saying.

Ludik told The Namibian that the object poses no cause for alarm, and that such reports of metallic spheres falling from space are common in the Southern Hemisphere.

So should we expect a run on helmets at sporting goods stores south of the equator?

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Filed under: Namibia • Space
soundoff (970 Responses)
  1. Aaron Brennan

    It's a fuel tank from a satellite. If it contains hydrazine they need to be very careful.

    December 23, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • someone

      Thanks Aaron, thats the answer I was looking for.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Woody Yajablowme

    I'm pretty sure that Optimus Prime is now looking for one his balls....

    December 23, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • SDMAN

      Hahaha that's funny as hell.

      December 23, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Mare0568

      bahahahahahaha! I laughed so hard I cried!

      December 23, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Star Rider

      That was hilarious man...LOL!

      December 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • truth

      Lol !Thats a Good one!

      December 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • rescuehead

      dude... that was hillarious ... i am on the friggin floor.....

      December 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chrigo

      omg! That's hilarious!! HAhHAA!!! Thanks man

      December 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Nice one!!!!

      December 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bristoltwit palin... America's favorite dancing cow

    It belongs to me ! It's my combination buttplug / chew toy.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. Yoda

    Woody dat funny!!!

    December 23, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. alumette

    Nobody claims it, they don't know what it is but there is not need for alarm......what stupid comments from the authorities !Thirteen pounds coming from space.....yeah, a feather in your cap. Some humans are too dumb to believe. There is so much trash in space we should be looking up constantly.....and dodging.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. beenz

    No need for alarm. Maybe they're just remaking "The Gods Must be Crazy"

    December 23, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malmborg in Plano TX

      LULZ!

      December 23, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Quid Malmborg in Plano TX

    Great, more space junk falling to Earth. We've do a great job so far throwing our garbage around the planet, now what we've left in space is coming back down on us. Somebody's going to get injured one day and they're going to have every right to sue whatever government is responsible for that satellite debris for damages. I hope we'll be able to ID the debris source if/when that happens.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. Quid Malmborg in Plano TX

    Call it "The Gods Must Be Litterbugs."

    December 23, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Fred Murre

    It's definitely a pressure tank, (as used on a rocket booster or satellite) either for inert gas used to pressurize another fuel source, or a small tank for vernier or similar rocket motors, in which case it could be something toxic like hydrazine or nitrogen tetroxide. I wouldn't be messing with it.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. bigwilliestyles

    "Jeez Xlmndhtgftrx, that's the third mysterious metal ball you've dropped this week!" "Try to be careful, willya?"

    December 23, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jason

    If idiots could fly, this would be an airport. It's a "104 Litre Hydrazine Propellant Tank Model OST 31/0", and asking almost any random person in the street could have told you that.

    December 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      http://cs.astrium.eads.net/sp/spacecraft-propulsion/propellant-tanks/39-litre-hydrazine-bladder-tank.html I meant to say it's the 39 litre one, which is 8 kg, right on par with the reported size.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      The 104L one only has a diameter of 2', this is reportedly 3.6'. I imagine the 39L propellant tank is likewise undersized. Could be an error in the reported dimensions.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • MatthewInWisconsin

      Holy smokes.... You're correct! I just googled 104 Litre Hydrazine Propellant Tank Model OST 31/0, and there the photo. Perhaps a different size, but close enough for the point. Good job! Next question?

      December 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave

    Thank God it landed in the one place on Earth where it would be assured of being studied by the most sophisticated people and machines mankind has to offer.

    December 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Drujbaru

    http://cs.astrium.eads.net/sp/spacecraft-propulsion/propellant-tanks/104-litre-hydrazine-propellant-tank.html

    December 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      That's twice the reported size.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    Wouldn't this object have burned up once it entered the atmosphere?

    December 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SixDegrees

    Why do they think it's from space? It doesn't look like anything that's survived reentry or a high-speed ground impact.

    December 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
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