Order our new book, Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders
Mini book

Volgograd, Russia

Mysterious Volgograd Balls

Volcanic irregularity? Odd erosion? Alien eggs? Local legends compete to explain these strange orbs 

Ever since these mysterious spherical objects were found in Mokraya Olkhovka, legend and mystery has surrounded them.

The first theory of their origin was that they were the eggs of a dinosaur. That idea was tossed out by scientific study, which concluded that they consist of metal, silicon and sand, not baby dinosaur. Another legend was that they could have been the product of a unique volcano that produced not just steam, but minerals that fell into these unusual shapes, but that didn’t pan out either. Adding to the intrigue, the balls were located very close to each other and looked very alike, each having the same shape and size as the last, which undoubtedly led to the go-to answer for anything without a crystal-clear origin: aliens.

Further investigation reveals that Kazakhstan and New Zealand also have some of these “eggs” hidden in their remote areas. While conspiracy theorists sometimes insist these are deposits from another planet, they actually do have a scientific explanation.

The scientific term for these ancinent “eggs” is “concretions” and they are a fairly common, if not captivating, phenomenon. They are formed when mineral cement precipitates in spaces between sediment. They occur within layers of strata that have already deposited and resist erosion so that, as the centuries roll by, these pockets of spherical concretionary cement remain after everything else is washed away.

Edit Place