Friday mystery object #8

Well, after last week’s impressiveness on your collective parts, I think I’d better step up to the plate and deliver something truly taxing. This one I guarantee you won’t get without some extra clues.

Here it is:

Scale in cm
Scale in cm

(click on image to enlarge)

It’s a tall order I know, but what do you think it is?

Put your answers in the comments section below and if you need some clues (or ask some sensible questions) I will respond accordingly.

Good luck (I have a feeling you’ll need it!)

71 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #8

  1. Hmmm, I think it’s a lengthwise section of a whale tooth, or maybe an elephant, but that would be too obvious and the shape looks wrong.

    • Indeed you are correct – it would be too obvious and the shape is wrong. The shape size and structure are actually the key points to look at once someone had identified what it’s made of.

      • cuttlebone of a giant squid? but looks too dense…doesn’t look like a normal bone, assuming that’s a section, no trabeculae

        is it artificially cut at the ends?

    • It is too dense for cuttlefish and it is cut at the ends. Indeed it is a lengthwise section of something too. Not sure what you mean by a “normal” bone, so I can’t really comment further at this stage…

  2. Certainly has an air of the ivory about it, I did think wood at first glance – possibly fossilised. Doesn’t look wedge shaped, but maybe a bit worn at each end. Perhaps it’s a label…

  3. It’s probably worth mentioning that this block does not represent a finished product. It has just been crudely shaped and sized from the raw material to make it easier to transport and sell.

    My suggestion is that you work out what it’s made of first of all – the rest will start to drop into place. BTW, feel free to ask questions about it – I can’t guarantee answers, but I’ll do my best!

  4. Hang on.

    If we’re talking heuristically here, and we refer to that wonderful little lecture on problem solving you posted, I have a question for you about the object:

    What is the object?

    (Worth a try 😉

  5. White, solid looking substance from a vertebrate which isn’t ivory or bone. Leaves us with something like hoof, nail or tortoise shell unless it’s lard but it’s dense and it’s difficult to drill holes in lard.

  6. Ahh, seems most of the large land mammals are ruled out, except the giraffe.
    But Paolo said the animal is IUCN listed as ‘least concern’ and giraffes are red listed as vulnerable.
    However, that change to vulnerable status was made in 2016, and this post is from September 11th 2009.

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