Thousands of people have rushed to a remote Santa Filomena in northeastern Brazil after hundreds of chunks of a huge meteorite began to fall ‘like rain’ from the sky.
Up to 200 fragments of the meteorite, which fell on August 19, have been found so far. And there may be much more left.
The biggest piece weighed 40kg and is worth over $26,800 – the same as 10 years’ worth of the average salary in the area – and was found on August 27.
Locals living in the town now refer to the meteorite storm as a ‘miracle‘ and the day when ‘money fell from the sky.’
Most of the biggest rocks were found around the church, further convincing locals that the rare meteorite was ‘sent by God.’
Within hours of the rocks falling, meteorite hunters travelled to the town from other parts of Brazil, as well as professional collectors from the US and Uruguay.
A team of 4 scientists from Brazil’s National Museum in Rio de Janeirois trying to negotiate a price for the biggest stone. They fear they won’t be able to beat the price being offered by an American hunter, and that the rare rock will be shipped out of Brazil.
The meteorite is believed to be a rare chondrite which dates back to the origins of the Solar System. Only 1% of meteorites are of this type, and specimens can sell for tens of thousands of dollars. The largest chondrite ever recorded weighs 1,770kg and was recovered from the Jilin meteorite shower of 1976.