Meteorite worth S$2.48 million crashes through roof of Indonesian man's home

Literally fell from the sky.

Julia Yeo | November 18, 2020, 05:17 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

(Editor's note: A previous version of this article stated that the Indonesian man had sold the meteorite for S$2.48 million. This article has been amended to reflect that the meteorite was worth S$2.48 million instead.)

A 33-year-old man from North Sumatra, Indonesia, found a steaming hot meteorite just outside his residence one afternoon after it crashed through the roof of his house.

Space rock worth S$2.48 million

The space rock, which weighed around 2.1kg, turned out to be worth around US$1.85 million (S$2.48 million), according to Daily Mail.

Josua Hutagalung, a coffin maker, was working when the rock landed by his home on Aug. 1, 2020, sinking around 15cm deep into the soil.

Hutagalung told local media Kompas that the meteorite was still warm when he dug it out of the ground.

The space rock is estimated to be around 4.5 billion years old.

According to the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Texas, U.S., the meteorite is classified as CM1/2 carbonaceous Chondrite, an extremely rare variety.

Due to its rarity, it is worth around S$857 (S$1,149) per gram, making Hutagalung's rock worth around $1.85 million (S$2.48 million).

Eventually sold meteorite to dealers

According to meteoritical bulletin Karmaka, one of Hutagalung's sons told him not to sell the meteorite.

Photo via Agustina Ester Hutagalung (Karmaka)

The coffin maker was reluctant to sell the meteorite at first, believing it to be a sign of good fortune for his family and village, selling only a small fragment of the meteorite which broke off after a few days, weighing around 94.2g.

However, by mid-September, he decided to sell off the rest of the rock to three separate dealers, who later sold them to collectors.

BBC Indonesia reported that he received Rp200 million (S$19,000) for the meteorite, and an extra Rp14 million (S$1,300) to repair his damaged roof.

According to Hutagalung, he plans to use a portion of the money to build a church in his community.

Top image via Josua Hutagalung, Karmaka

Totally unrelated but follow and listen to our podcast here