For thirty years, a man from Michigan, United States, has wedged his front door open with a giant rock that weighs around 10 kilos. Recently, his suspicions about the origins of the rock led him to contact a geologist. It turns out this rock which has been used as a door stop is in fact a rare meteorite worth $100, 000.
The man was told the rock was a meteorite when he bought the farm 30 years ago. However the new property owner who wishes to remain anonymous clearly wasn’t interested or didn’t believe it as for the next thirty years he used the meteorite as a door stop. Only recently did the man finally ask Mona Sirbescu, a geologist from the Central Michigan University (CMU), for her advice. She immediately recognised that this “big rock” was more valuable than any other meteorite she’d seen before. She explained that, “This meteorite has the greatest monetary and scientific value that I have ever seen in my life.” The meteorite has been estimated to be worth around $100, 000.
By testing the rock, the researcher has confirmed that it is composed of 88% nickel-iron and 12% nickel. In other terms the rock is from outer space and not from our planet. It was formed almost 4.5 billion years ago when the Solar System was still in the process of forming. These results were then confirmed by researchers from the Smithsonian Institution.
John Watson, an expert in meteorites from the University of California in Los Angeles, examined the rock to determine it’s value. As for the property owner, he will probably sell the meteorite to a museum and give 10% of his earnings to the University of Michigan to help students studying Earth and Space Science with their studies.