Skip navigation
2428 Views 3 Replies Last post: Jul 19, 2013 11:48 AM by MikeHardman RSS
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 18, 2013 7:46 PM

Very strange possible iron pyrite shape , please help me ID .

Hi everyone , long time lurker but first time poster on here , and thought i would photograph an item ive had for several year.


It was found laying on the beach at the base of the cliffs at Walton on the naze , essex.


I am sure it's probably just me but the resembalence to a slighlty squished finger is just too uncanny . It seems to show the correct shape and dimensions of a finger , showing the nail , various lines and what appears to be a crushed joint bone .


The item seems though to be iron pyrite i think , it weighs in at 22g.


I have included several pics , some with my finger for comparison. I just find it hard to believe this shape formed purely through chance and wonder if it was formed somehow through a mould of a finger or something. Anyway am rambling. thanks in advance for any information.2013-07-18 18.52.17 (1).JPG2013-07-18 18.52.49 (2).JPGMy finger is the one on the left2013-07-18 18.56.13 (1).JPG2013-07-18 18.54.56 (1).JPGThis is the underside of the 'finger' .

  • Bognut,


    Welcome out from the shadows...


    Well, of course, I see what you mean. And I understand your feeling. But I am sure it is not a finger, nor anything related.

    BTW, Note the shadow on your first photo. That looks like a head in oblique profile, but we know it is not.

    The human eye-mind machine is highly evolved for recognizing familiar shapes, sizes, patterns and colours. It is just tricking you, like it tricks us all from time to time.


    I suspect your item may be a piece of weathered iron. I'm tempted to say I can 'see' a fragment of a drive chain (like on a bicycle). But to do so would be to fall into the same trap. And besides, such chains are made from steel not iron.


    When iron weathers it can take on various appearances, and it may develop layering. I think the 'finger nail' you are envisaging is merely where an outer layer has come partly away.


    I am not completely ruling out iron pyrites; here's an example with some similarities -

    But I find the surface texture of your specimen a closer match to old iron.


    To be sure, you may need to cut it open and/or bring it in to the NHM and/or a local museum.

    If you do so, please update this thread. We'd like to know!

    Thanks for posting.



    • Report Abuse

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked by (0)

What the symbols mean

  • "correct" answer available
  • "helpful" answer