- (Photo: Elmar Buchner)
A Nazi iron man statue of a heavy buddha was carved from a meteorite that fell thousands of years ago, according to German researchers.
According to the scientists the heavy statue, carved in the form of a Buddha, was brought to Europe by the Nazis, and fell from the sky up to 10,000 years ago, landing by the Siberia-Mongolia border.
The statue has been named "the iron man" by researchers, and they claim the statue was carved out some time between the 8th and 10th centuries.
On the statue's chest is a Buddhist swastika, which originally was a symbol of luck, but was layer co-opted by the Nazi party of Germany as their symbol.
The researchers wrote online on Sept. 14 in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science: "One can speculate whether the swastika symbol on the statue was a potential motivation to displace the 'iron man' meteorite artifact to Germany."
According to the scientists the iron man came to Germany following an expedition in 1938 to 1939 by zoologist and ethnology Ernst Schäfer.
Schäfer was allegedly sent to the region by the Nazi party to find the roots of Aryan origin.
Researcher Elmar Bucher from the University of Stuttgart and his colleagues were first able to analyze the statue 5 years ago in 2007. At that time they took 5 miniscule samples of the statue to analyze.
Their progress meant that they returned in 2009 to take larger samples from the inside of the statue. This allowed them to obtain more details as the inside of the statue had been less worn by weathering and human contact than the outside surface of the statue, where the first samples had come from.
The statue weighs approximately 10kg (22 pounds). Additionally, it is believed to embody a stylistic mixture between the Buddhist and pre-Buddhist Bon culture.
"The statue was chiseled from an iron meteorite, from a fragment of the Chinga meteorite which crashed into the border areas between Mongolia and Siberia about 15.000 years ago. While the first debris was officially discovered in 1913 by gold prospectors, we believe that this individual meteorite fragment was collected many centuries before," Dr. Buchner said.
The Iron Man is estimated to value at $20,000.