The attached photos show a black stone like item I found in the Libyan dessert about 30 years ago. I found it in the sand whilst digging my Landrover out of a dune (about 50km from Sabbah).I always thought the black stone item was a fossil of a male member of some animal, perhaps prehistoric, as it has some very distinct markings which look like scales, but was told that soft tissue would never end up as a hard stone. In addition the black stone looks like it has been subjected to high temperature (almost glassy, vitrified by lightning?), and has some larger white coarse particles incorporated in it in some areas.The stone has an irregular hole running through the middle of it, which is small at the top but quite large at the base. I would assume it extremely unlikely to be man made due to the remote area in which I found it.
This looks like a nodule of chert, a rock formed from silica. Chert nodules form in all kinds of irregular shapes that are often mistaken for fossils. The broken surfaces in the third picture down are quite characteristic of chert. Chert, like glass, is composed of silica, which explains the glassy texture you mention. I've attached a factsheet with some more information about chert. You are correct that soft tissue rarely fossilises, as it tends to decay or be destroyed before it can become fossilised.
Thanks for your post.
I initiallty had thought it may be chert, but after scouring the internet for chert psuedofossils could not find any examples that looked anything like it.
It appears to be one solid black lump and certainly would not shear with a conchoidal fracture, or have any sharp edges. I assume there are many different sorts of chert, with the silica ones being more glassy/black and not like the typical chert examples on the web.
There are also signs of smaller "white chippings" on the base and in the central hole giving it a conglomerate appearance. is this also possible in chert?
Doesn't really show well on the photographs, but the detailing in particular what appears to be a glans, folds of skin on the underside, and the scaling really does look to be a bit beyond that of a coincidence on a naturally formed piece of rock!