Man Keeps Rock For Years In The Hopes Of Finding Gold But Instead Finds Something More Valuable

The Maryborough meteorite.
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The Maryborough meteorite.

Highlights

  • Since Maryborough is located in the Goldfields region, where the Australian gold rush peaked in the 19th century, he carried the rock home and tried everything to open it.
  • Later he learned that it was a rare meteorite.

David Hole was prospecting in 2015 in the Maryborough Regional Park, which is close to Melbourne, Australia. He used a metal detector to unearth something unusual: a large, reddish rock sitting on some yellow mud.

Since Maryborough is located in the Goldfields region, where the Australian gold rush peaked in the 19th century, he carried the rock home and tried everything to open it. He was confident that there was a gold nugget inside the rock. So,Hole attempted to disassemble his find using a rock saw, an angle grinder, a drill, and even by soaking it in acid. Even a sledgehammer, though, couldn't make a crack. That's because he was attempting to crack open nothing more than a piece of junk. Later he learned that it was a rare meteorite.

Hole brought the nugget to the Melbourne Museum for identification after being unable to open the "rock" but remaining fascinated. In reality, Henry claimed that in his 37 years of analysing thousands of rocks at the museum, only two of the gifts had ever proven to be genuine meteorites.

The 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite, which they named Maryborough after the town nearby where it was located, was described in a scientific study written by the researchers.

It is a massive H5 ordinary chondrite, weighing in at a whopping 17 kilogrames (37.5 pounds), and the researchers discovered this after slicing off a tiny piece of it using a diamond saw. When it's opened up, you can also see the chondrules, or small crystallized drops of metallic minerals, that are all over it.

Dermot Henry, a geologist at the Melbourne Museum, claimed that meteorites offer the most affordable method of space research. They take us back in time and reveal information about the age, development, and chemistry of our solar system (including Earth).

He added that some offer a peek into our planet's deep interior. Even older than our Solar System stardust has been found in some meteorites, which demonstrates how stars begin and develop to produce the elements of the periodic table.

The meteorite's origin and potential stay on Earth are unknown to researchers, although they do have some educated predictions. Once upon a time, chondrite rocks and a cloud of dust made up our Solar System. Most of this material eventually formed planets as a result of gravity, while the remainder generally ended up in a vast asteroid belt.

There have been several meteor sightings between 1889 and 1951 that may be related to the meteorite's arrival on Earth. Carbon dating indicates that the meteorite has been on Earth for between 100 and 1,000 years. According to the experts, the Maryborough meteorite is significantly more valuable to science than gold because it is more rarer. Only 17 meteorites from the Australian state of Victoria have been reported, and this one is the second-largest chondritic mass after a massive 55-kilogram specimen discovered in 2003.

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