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Nominal Me

I'm falling in love with my camera and taking photos everywhere I go. That, combined with my passions for politics, sports, religion and other things we all agree on, makes this blog persist.


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Location: Astoria, New York, United States

I'm born in Manhattan and raised in Queens.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

One Big Hole in Odessa, TX

Longtime readers of this blog know that I am a huge football fan. Some of you may also remember that months ago I read the book Friday Night Lights, and then compared it to the movie. I was no enamored by the book that in my travels I sought out high school football in Wisconsin and Texas.

Today was a highlight though, because by chance I drove past Odessa, TX, home of oil wells and the Permian Panthers, the subject of the book and movie I wrote about previously.

It looks like...this. Well, in many places, there are buildings for people and such, enough for more than 90,000 citizens. Oil, however, is clearly a big part of the local economy.

I had no idea, however, that the Panthers are not the only notable thing in Odessa. This town's nearby community is the home of the second largest meteorite crater in the United States. This is something worthy of a museum.

Texas seems very good at being second best when it comes to holes in the ground. Amarillo, TX is home to the country's second largest canyon, the Palo Duro, and is the second largest state (Alaska is the biggest by far).

The Odessa crater is about 165 meters is about 535 feet (165 meters) across.

The Odessa Crater was discovered in 1920, and is believed to have been created about 50,000 years ago when a "great shower of nickel-iron meteorites collided with the Earth". This is notable for its size and its composition, as only 6% of all meteorites striking the Earth are metallic. Most, 93% are stony, with the remaining 1% being "rare and beautiful stony-iron meteorites," according to the museum handout.

There is some debate as to whether this site should be a tourist attraction, which is odd considering there probably are not many other reasons for people to stop in Odessa. I don't think the World's Largest Jackrabbit is going to do it (you think I'm kidding right, click on the link). If the mojo of Panthers football does not do it, then a big hole in the ground should.

Had they not told me this was a crater, I would not have known. It looks like pretty much any other hole in the ground, and this is due to years and years of rain and sediments covering over the hole. It can be pretty windy in West Texas. The best views of the crater are in sections that were dug up.

The largest piece of the Odessa Meteorite ever found weighs approximately 300 pounds. I don't think this is it.

It makes for a lovely walk, if you like rocks. You can also learn about things like "rock flour," which are rocks that were turned into microscopic bits of dust due to the massive impact of the meteorites. Man, there's a lot of things about life I've never stopped to think about.

Here's me, taking a picture of a sign about a big hole in the ground. Is this a new low for this blog?

If you make it here, and it is right off Interstate 20 ten miles from Odessa, it is well worth the trip. The staff at the museum are very friendly and extremely proud to have a very large hole in the ground right in their own hometown.

It's free. You can't beat that.

RELATED LINKS:
America's Treasures

Archive of Religion, Science and Philosophy

3 Comments:

Blogger LeesMyth said...

Interesting. I'd heard of "The Oddessa File", but who knew Odessa was also associated with Texas, meteors, and 6 foot tall fiberglass jackrabbits? Now I know.

Tuesday, 13 December, 2005  
Blogger Nominal Me said...

This is a very educational blog.

Tuesday, 13 December, 2005  
Blogger geedub said...

I have read that the odessa craters were caused by fragments from the meteor that caused the Barringer crater in Arizona. Can someone confirm this?

Monday, 14 April, 2008  

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