Buddha from space

Buddha from space

Scientists find Buddhist carving made from a meteorite.

In what has to be one of the more interesting finds in recent times, scientists have discovered that an 11th century carved Buddhist statue in fact originated from space.  This is not to suggest that aliens are Buddhists and sent their treasure to Earth or perhaps accidently dumped the statue out a garbage chute.  The Buddha is man-made, but the material it’s made from is a meteorite that crashed to the planet somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago.

Dubbed the “Space Buddha,” the carving is a Mongolian representation of the god Vaisravana.  It made its way to Tibet and from there was taken by Nazis in 1939.  The Nazis were focused on finding the roots of Aryanism during their reign and the Buddha is decorated on its chest with a swastika.  This is believed to be why they took such an interest in the object.  Since Nazi times, the Buddha ended up making its way to a private collection and has been able to be examined by scientists.

The Buddha is the only known human figure carved from a meteorite, though it’s not the only artifact made of such an extraterrestrial material.  There are other items, such as jewelry and weapons that have the same traits.  Other important objects are also believed by scientists to be made from meteorites but many of these are inaccessible and thus not immediately provable.

It’s an interesting phenomenon that space is giving people on Earth the means (or at least the materials) to make artistic creations.  One day this may not be such a big deal, as the technology of mining asteroids is advancing and meteor parts will no doubt be for sale on the open market before too many decades have passed.  For now, however, the “space Buddha” remains a unique creation and an ancient connection between man and the things beyond our world.