Let me tell you guys about a little rock that’s kinda boring looking. Actually, calling them rocks is a bit on the generous side. They are more like pebbles that are mostly black, with little pits and layers on it. If you placed one next to the landscape rocks outside in my garden, I would not be able to pick it out from all the other rocks.
This little stone is called a tektite, a form of molten glass that runs the gamut between black, dark black, greenish black, and brownish black. Note the abundance of the color black on this rock. As far as beauty is concerned, it’s quite a dud. No one would ever mistaken it for a radiant gemstone.
So why am I dedicating an entire post on the dubious quality of this blackish rock?
The word tektite is taken from the Greek word tēktos, which means “melted,” or “molten.” We Viets do have a name for it, thiên thạch, since it’s all over our countryside. Thiên thạch means sky stone, because we thought it came from the sky. Since it’s well-known as tektite, I’m just gonna call it tektite.
The specific type of tektite that is found in Vietnam is called Mường Nông, to differentiate between SEA tektite and those found elsewhere around the world, which includes Australia plus a few Pacific islands, SE Asia, Tibet, a few areas around Czech Republic, a few regions of the Americas, and of course, Africa.
It’s also called Mường Nông because the first time westerners discovered them, they were found in the area where the Mường natives lived. FYI, Mường is one of the 54 groups of native Viets who reside within Vietnam. Nông just means countryside, so basically, it means Mường Countryside. I will take a little time and detail a few of the native Viets in future postings.
Mường Nông type tektites are everywhere, y’all. Geological surveys show that Tektite is most densely distributed in Vietnam. It’s spread out ALL OVER VIETNAM. You can’t walk around anywhere without inadvertently kicking it with your toe.
Furthermore, it is found, from highlands to lowlands, from mountains to ocean shores, it is literally all over the place, within the Southeast Asian region that encompasses Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Australia, Philippines—not to mention the underwater portions of Sundaland.
Interestingly enough, even though it is everywhere underfoot in Vietnam, it seems as if there are only a few places in the world that these rocks can be found. Vietnam just happens to be one of those places of plenty, reason unknown.
Take a look at the layers of melted glass. Tektites are supposed to be only produced at the sites of meteor strikes,when very hot heat has been produced, which melts the silica in the ground and turns it to melted black glass. However, only a handful of times have impacts occurred that created tektites (Libya is particularly noteworthy), and meanwhile there are over 170 crater sites that yield nothing.
Why is this the case? Could it be that it’s really not meteorites that are causing these stones to form?
This means either the same spot kept getting bombarded by asteroids over and over again OR there could have been multiple nuclear wars there, OR it might have been a landing site where space crafts continually landed over and over again, melting and remelting the glass, and forming layer after layer after layer of tektite.
It would make a lot of sense that Vietnam and its surrounding area, was very frequently visited due to various reasons, and although that’s a crazy fun idea to pursue, there is another reason I am interested in this rock.
When you hold a piece of tektite in your hand, your fingers are said to go numb!
Could it be remnants of Beryllium–10, left over from its initial formation?
Beryllium-10 is formed in nuclear explosions by a reaction of fast neutrons with 13C in the carbon dioxide in air, and is one of the historical indicators of past activity at nuclear test sites. ~ Wikipedia
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Vietnam and surrounding areas were ancient nuclear bomb sites. I’m just saying that the Mường Nông tectites have traces of Beryllium–10 on them, with a decay rate that places the initial formation at roughly around 780,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years. What in heck could have caused all that Beryllium-10 that far back in the distant past? I don’t know…but I’ll keep digging till I find something!
The ancient history behind these rocks makes them that much more interesting. Next time I go back to Vietnam, I will hunt down a few of these rocks and test them on myself. I promise you guys that I will return to this post with an update on my journey to find one. I will even take pictures! 😀
But who am I kidding. Most rocks are old, so that would not be the reason why I am so fascinated with tektites.
The real reason is because in one of my previous posts, I said that Mom carries one of these around for a very specific purpose.
She was trying to ward off yin spirits, and was given a piece of tektite to hold because its fundamental property, as far as Vietnamese Taoist Masters were concerned, has to do with its overwhelming yang-ness.
Vietnamese Taoist Masters often use tektite to fortify the yang energies. In fact, Reiki masters also use them to clear blocked energies in the body chakras. It is a very well-known power stone because this stone has very strong positive (yang) energy, and is described as completely free from negative air. I wonder if it has anything to do with residual Beryllium–10.
Some people claim that it opens up the third eye so you can more easily see into other realms. I don’t know if that is true or not, but where I come from, one of its uses is to keep that third eye completely shut so you don’t have to see anything you don’t want to see. Its overpowering yangness serves as a shield, or buffer, to maintain a cushion of yang energies around the person holding the tektite, at least, that is what I have gathered. I could be wrong, but I have not seen any evidence otherwise.
Mom also had with her, a lá bùa of protection in the shape of a human. I’ll get to that in the next post.