A stoney mass that became revered as proof of the existence of an ancient advanced civilization —but proved to be nothing more than a 1920s-era Champion spark plug — is now on display in Seattle in an exhibit titled “What Is Reality.”
Since the discovery 57 years ago of the “Corso Artifact” in the mountains of eastern California, there’s been wild speculation about its origin of the 2-by-3-inch mystery rock, including a YouTube video that’s gotten 2.8 million views, The Seattle Times reported.
Software manager Pierre Stromberg’s research helped solve the mystery of the mundane origins of the “rock.” His work and the artifact are now featured at the Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Times reported.
According to the news outlet, Stromberg in 1999 contacted the Spark Plug Collectors of America — and the former president of the group, Chad Windham, vividly recalls looking at an X-ray of the mystery rock.
“Even though it was poor quality, it was like 100 percent no doubt in my mind that it was a Champion. At that time, they made more spark plugs than all the other companies combined,” he told the news outlet.
Geologists call it a concretion, the news outlet reported.
“A grain or other stuff falls on the ground, and it gets coated very quickly,” Alexis Licht, an assistant professor in the University of Washington Department of Earth and Space Sciences, told the Seattle Times.
“Concretion can create extremely symmetrical and pristine shapes, so people think it’s human and no nature can create such a thing. They send us pictures. ‘I have found an artifact,’ ” Licht added.