A rock that has been used to prop open a door for decades turns out to be a meteorite with an estimated value of $100,000.
The story began when the rock’s owner, who requested to remain anonymous, bought a farm in Edmore, Michigan in 1998. It was there when he saw the rock holding the door of a shed open.
When he asked the farmer who owned the property about it, he was told that it was a meteorite.
The farmer went on to say that in the 1930s, he and his father saw the object come down at night on their property. The rock made a noise when it hit the ground and created a crater. The farmer said that the rock was still warm when they dug it out in the morning.
The farmer told the man that since the rock was part of the property, he could have it.
The new owner lived on the farm for a few years before deciding to move on with the rock. He kept it for 30 years and also used it as a doorstop. He also sent it to school for his children’s show and tell.
Things changed when he heard about the meteor that blazed through Michigan in January. He wondered how how much his meteorite is worth.
He was then directed by a friend to contact Central Michigan University geology professor Mona Sirbescu.
Sirbescu said that she knew right away that the large rock was special when she saw it.
Tests revealed that the rock is indeed not like any other on Earth. Sirbescu determined that it was a meteorite made of 11.5 percent nickel and 88.5 percent iron.
The object is neither an ordinary space rock. With a weight of 22 pounds, the rock is the sixth largest recorded find in Michigan and is potentially worth $100,000.
“It’s the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically,” Sibescu said in a statement published by CMU.
To confirm her evaluation, Sirbescu cut off a slice from the rock and sent it to a colleague at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C, who validated her findings.
The Smithsonian and a mineral museum in Maine consider buying the meteorite. If a sale goes through, the Michigan man agreed to give 10 percent of the sale value to CMU for the study of earth and atmospheric sciences.
The rock will be named the Edmore meteorite.