The word tektite comes from the Greek “tektos,” meaning “molten” or “melted.” This word is the name for a type of rock made mostly of glass, found only in a few places in the world.
Tektites are made up of 65 percent to 90 percent glass, and may contain impurities such as iron and magnesium.
Two theories on how tektites formed are that they are meteors, or that they are terrestrial rocks that were vaporized by a meteor and then cooled quickly.The second theory is more commonly accepted.
Tektites are often pitted on the outside, brown to green, and have little water content. Their size ranges from a few millimeters up to 8 inches in length.
The most common tektite shapes are balls, disks, raindrops and dumbbells.
There are less common tektite shapes, which include ablated shapes and Muong Nong shapes.
Ablated tektites were sent into the atmosphere when a meteor hit the earth. Upon re-entry, their outer coating melted, and in this process the tektite formed a flange.
Muon Nong tektites are layers of tektite glass that can reach large sizes.
The places tektites have been found have no geological relationship. They can be found in Georgia, Texas, Martha’s Vineyard (Massachusetts), the Czech Republic, Mauritania, Cuba, Ivory Coast, Irgiz, Australia, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Tasmania and the Libyan Desert.