One of the largest meteorites ever recorded in Michigan went completely unnoticed by the experts for more than 80 years because it remained inconspicuously employed as a doorstop on a local farm. Geologists further identified the meteorite’s significance and value following its “rediscovery,” leading to its recognition as a record-setting iron-nickel space rock.
A meteorite that crashed to Earth almost a century ago has been used as a doorstop on a farm in Michigan.
According to ScienceAlert, this unassuming 10-kilogram (22lbs) rock spent decades serving as a doorstop at a local farm in Michigan before it was officially recognized by the scientific community. Namely, David Mazurek, the owner of the farm, had asked Mona Sirbescu, a geologist at Central Michigan University (CMU), if she could examine a rock that has been serving as a doorstop for the barn door at his farm in case it was a meteorite. Much to Sirbescu’s surprise, the rock in question is actually a meteorite and quite a valuable one.
As a geologist, Sirbescu receives regular requests from the locals to examine all sorts of potential meteorites. People bring all sorts of strange rocks for evaluation, as meteorites tend to be quite pricey on the collectors’ market, but most of those rocks are just rocks. However, Mazurek’s case was different, as he brought in an actual meteorite, and for Sirbescu, that was the first positive examination in the past 18 years of her career.
Eventually, Mazurek realized that people make money from finding and selling small pieces of meteorites, so he took the rock to evaluation. You can imagine his surprise when he learned that his 22-pounder would earn him some $75,000.
The meteorite, now nicknamed the Edmore meteorite, is actually a chunky iron-nickel space rock, containing some 12% of nickel by weight, which is actually a considerable amount. But the story behind the space rock is even more interesting.
The Meteorite’s History
According to Mazurek, the story of the meteorite began even before he bought the farm in 1988. While exploring the property with the previous owner, the latter revealed that the rock had fallen from the sky in 1930 before serving as a barn doorstop.
The owner recounted how he and his father witnessed the meteorite crash into their property, causing quite a bit of noise. In the morning, however, they found a warm rock inside the resulting crater. The meteorite continued serving as a doorstop for the next 30 years and would only occasionally leave the property when Mazurek’s kids took the rook to school for show and tell.
Eventually, Mazurek realized that people make money from finding and selling small pieces of meteorites, so he took the rock to evaluation. You can imagine his surprise when he learned that his 22-pounder would earn him some $75,000. He sold the meteorite to the Michigan State University Abrams Planetarium and pledged 10% of the proceeds to Central Michigan University’s Earth and atmospheric science department, where the inconspicuous doorstop was identified as a very valuable meteorite.