Man has been using exotic rocks as door sills for decades. It turns out she’s worth a fortune. : ScienceAlert

It wasn’t until more than 80 years after its discovery that one of the largest meteorites ever recorded in Michigan caught the attention of experts.

Living as modest as 10 kilograms (22 pounds) on a local farm, the space rock existed for several decades before being recognized by the scientific community.

“I could tell right away that this was something special,” Mona Serpico saidAnd Geologist at Central Michigan University (CMU), explained in 2018 After investigating the object.

“It is the most valuable specimen I have ever kept, both critical and scholarly.”

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David Mazurek, a man from Grand Rapids, Michigan, asked Serpico if she could examine a rock he’d had for 30 years—in case it was a meteorite.

For Sirbescu, this has been a regular request throughout her career, but it usually doesn’t have dramatic results.

“For 18 years, the answer has been emphatically ‘no’…not meteorites,” she explained in a statement at the time.

But on this occasion, the answer was different.

Not only was it a space rock, but it was also an amazing one at that.

The object, dubbed the Edmure meteorite, is a large iron-nickel meteorite that contains a significant amount of nickel, making up about 12 percent.

How the meteor came into Mazurk’s possession is a story in itself.

According to Sirbescu, when Mazurek bought a farm in Edmore, Michigan in 1988, he was shown around the property by the previous owner, and saw a large, odd-looking boulder used to support the opening of a shed door.

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When Mazurek asked the outgoing owner about the rock, he was told that the door stop was actually a meteorite.

The man went on to say that in the 1930s he and his father had seen the meteor fall at night on their property, “And he made a noise when he hit.”.

The next morning, the pair found the crater left by the object, and excavated the meteorite from the new trench. They said it was still warm.

The craziest thing? The man told Mazurk that since the meteorite was part of the property, it would now belong to him.

Thus Mazurek kept the space rock for 30 years, continuing to use it as a door stop—except for the occasions when his children took the rock to school for display and speaking.

Eventually, he noticed that people were making money finding and selling small pieces of meteorites, so he thought he should value his giant rock.

We can imagine Mazurek was happy when he finally did, because meteorites—given their rarity and scientific value—can often fetch sky-high price tags.

“What usually happens with these at this point is that the meteorites can be sold and displayed in a museum or sold to collectors and sellers looking to make a profit,” he said. Sirbescu said.

In the end, Mazurek sold his meteorite to MSU’s Abrams Planetarium, pledging 10 percent of the windfall to CMU’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, where Sirbescu determined the true identity of the rock.

the price? $75,000.

Not too bad for an old door stop.

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A previous version of this article was published in October 2018.

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