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From Wakanda Wiki:

In the distant past, a massive meteorite made up of the sound-absorbing mineral vibranium crashed in Wakanda.

This gives the impression that the metal is of extra-terrestrial origin (ala Criptonite).

... BUT... Vibranium Wiki says:

... the oil conglomerate Roxxon discovered that a small island in the South Atlantic had a foundation composed of vibranium.

This seem to point that the mineral occurs on Earth naturally (unless the whole island was a meteorite?

Is the original source of Wakandan variety of Vibranium and its distribution on Earth and the Universe known from the entirety of Marvel universe?

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Wakandan Vibranium (the most well known type, hereafter called vibranium is different from the Antarctic version which we shall call hereafter "anti-metal") was until recently, the most plentiful source of vibranium on Earth. Almost all known vibranium was found in Wakanda and for the most part was the only source whose supply had been regulated and controlled for commercial use. This mountain-sized supply vibranium made Wakanda one of the richest nations on Earth.

Suspected origins of vibranium

Vibranium is an extra-terrestrial "naturally-occurring" metal or so says the Marvel Universe writers. If such a material could appear naturally, it would have to come from the action of supernova where all other heavy (exotic) metals are born. Thus all "natural" deposits of vibranium of either type are from space, most likely arriving on Earth as meteorites. There could be a potential of the material being part of the solar disk as the planets in our solar system formed but it seems less likely given the strange properties of the metal. If it was part of the planet when the Earth was formed, it might have slipped into the core of the planet and only appeared during seismic activity.

Given the exotic nature of the material, being created by advanced being such as Galactus or the Celestials seems a more likely origin, considering nothing else on our periodic table even comes close to having the properties of either version of vibranium. It has been insinuated the Celestials use the material in the creation of their mighty and alien armors. Being manufactured by super-advanced aliens such as the Celestials or Galactus (who are certainly capable of creating such an exotic material) makes much more sense and allows for the material to violate the periodic table with its fantastic properties of vibration dampening or metallic bond disruption.

History of vibranium on Earth

There have been isolated instances of vibranium all over the Earth, appearing in a variety of stories in the Marvel Universe (the fictional South American nation of Tierra del Maiz, was conquered by Diablo for its modest vibranium stores). The development of Captain America's shield is one of the most well known. The material was believed to have arrived on Earth, as part of a meteor shower and would explain why there are isolated chunks of vibranium all over Marvel Earth #616.

Most of the other stories include the name of a company called Roxxon who sought to exploit vibranium's numerous processes for financial gain and control of the planet's markets on the materials. One major storyline revolved around an island in the Atlantic having one of the largest supplies of vibranium outside of Wakanda. That supply was later destroyed by Roxxon.

Roxxon tried to creation a synthetic version of vibranium called Nuform. It was highly unstable and degenerated temporarily into the anti-metal version becoming highly dangerous and having to be destroyed.

In the recent Doomwar Saga, Doctor Doom attacks and attempts to take over Wakanda for its vibranium. In a desperate move, the Black Panther is believed to have destroyed the largest cache of vibranium in Wakanda as well as rendering any easily accessible vibranium derived from Wakanda, inert. What this will ultimately mean to heroes who are using it, depend on it or have it as part of their powers or arsenal is anyone's guess.

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  • +1 for excellent content. Notional -10 for lawyer-syntax in the executive summary :))) – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 31 '12 at 23:54
  • Sorry. I will clean it up when I get a moment. I had to do most of the research on my smart phone. I will make it meet higher standards when time permits. – Thaddeus Howze May 31 '12 at 23:57
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    I was being sarcastic, no need to clean up. Sorry :) This comment will self-destruct in 1 hour – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jun 1 '12 at 0:07
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Probable real science explanation:

Most minerals (especially precious) during the Earth's formation sunk into the molten core. The amounts that we have today are on the order of "ten's to thousands of times more abundant in Earth's silicate mantle than anticipated."(source) This is due to meteorite bombardment.

The Earth hasn't always been around, and has been formed by various large pieces of materials grouping together and forming a gravity so large that the Earth assumed a spherical shape. This phenomenon is called accretion.

Vibranium is certainly not a "common" Earth metal, but the fact that it has been known to impact the earth (your first quote), gives the most probably reasoning behind the island having a vibranium foundation:

That sometime in the past another meteorological impact caused the foundation of the island to coalesce. (This is just supposition, and as it is the Marvel universe there could very well be an in universe explanation.)

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