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Tswaing Meteorite Crater

Tswaing, meaning “place of salt” in the Setswana language, is an ancient impact crater outside the metropolis of Pretoria in South Africa’s Gauteng province. The Tswaing Crater formed some 220,000 years ago when a giant meteorite slammed into the Earth, creating a half-mile-wide crater and destroying all vegetation within a 25-mile radius.

Today, a blind salt lake lies at the bottom of the crater, and the area is surrounded by dense tree growth. This natural wonder is a feature in the region that even a fair amount of locals aren’t unaware of. Yet it is clear that early humans in the area knew of the crater site. Stone Age implements and pottery have been discovered at the crater rim, where deposits of salt were collected by these early inhabitants from the lake at the bottom of the hole.

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