This just in from the ‘Are You Serious?” department: A group of German researchers have confirmed that a Nazi Iron Man Statue truly fell from space.
The statue, which depicts a Buddhist God, was carved from a meteorite that fell to earth 10,000-20,000 years ago along the Siberia-Mongolia border.
Researchers believe that the statue, which has been dubbed Iron Man, dates back to the eighth to 10th centuries. The statue was brought to Germany in 1938 from Tibet by zoologist Ernst Schäfer.
According to the Scientific American, Schäfer was sent by the Nazi party to find the origins of the Aryan race. The statue has a swastika on its chest, which was meant as a symbol of good luck, and was taken back to Germany.
The researchers write in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science:
“One can speculate whether the swastika symbol on the statue was a potential motivation to displace the ‘iron man’ meteorite artifact to Germany.”
MSNBC reports that the research team took several samples of the statue and determined that it was created from a rare class of space rocks known as ataxite meteorites.
Elmar Buchner of the University of Stuttgart said that the artist probably used a meteor from the Chinga meteorite field. The meteor field was discovered in the early 1900s but Buchner says that the statue proves that the space rocks were used for artistic purposes long before then.
“The Iron Man statue is the only known illustration of a human figure to be carved into a meteorite, which means we have nothing to compare it to when assessing value … Its origins alone may value it at $20,000; however, if our estimation of its age is correct and it is nearly a thousand years old, it could be invaluable.”
Buchner is not sure about the identity of the figure in the statue, but the research team believes that it may be the Buddhist god Vaisravana, the god of wealth or war.