Meteorite fragments spark 'gold rush' in Russia - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Meteorite fragments spark 'gold rush' in Russia

Posted: Updated:

Tiny fragments of the meteorite that blew apart over Russia may be worth more than their weight in gold.


How much would you pay for a chunk of the Russian meteorite – is it really worth more than gold! COMMENT and LIKE us on our FACEBOOK PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/myfoxdc


Amateur enthusiasts and scientists alike are scrambling to find bits of the meteorite that streaked across the morning sky over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk Friday at a hypersonic speed of at least 33,000 mph and shattered into pieces about 18-32 miles above the ground.

Hundreds were injured following a sonic blast that shattered windows, but scattered amid the broken glass are bits of space rock -- and enthusiasts will pay dearly for them, said Dmitry Kachkalin, a member of the Russian Society of Amateur Meteorite Lovers.

"The price is hard to say yet ... The fewer meteorites that are recovered, the higher their price,'' Kachkalin told Reuters. He estimates that chunks could be worth up to $2,200 per gram -- more than 40 times the current cost of gold, the news agency said.

Russian scientists on Monday said they had recovered as many as 53 tiny fragments of rock on the ice covering Russia's Lake Chebarkul -- 0.2-inch-long bits of the 2-foot-wide meteorite that blasted through heavens and left a circular hole on Friday.

"The fragments we have found are traces of the outer layer of the meteorite – there is a melted crust and so forth – which means that the basic mass lies there, in the lake," Viktor Grokhovsky, a member of the Russian Academy of Science's committee on meteorites, told the Interfax news service.

Did they check eBay first? Within hours of the explosion, residents of Chelyabinsk had listed bits of the space rock on classified ads sites.

According to the International Business Times, a user named Andrew advertised 18 pieces of the "meteor from the news," for 500 rubles each (the equivalent of $16.61) on Avito.Ru, a Russian-language classified ads site.

"There are 18 pieces of size as a wristwatch," Andrew wrote in Russian on the site. "You can choose as souvenirs or for stories. BOOK ME IN ADVANCE, to snap up FAST!"

Another user felt his rocks were more worthy, asking 300,000 rubles (roughly $10,000) for a piece of the rock. "A piece of the meteor for sale, it's new," Sergey wrote, with a photo of himself holding a piece of stone.

The first fragments from Friday's meteor are mainly stone, made up of about 10 percent iron, Grokhovsky said. More esoteric minerals such as platinum and gold are said to be part of other asteroids, however.

But to meteor hunters, the tiny bits of rock are priceless, whatever they may contain.

The fireball that streaked into the sky over this tough industrial city at about sunrise Friday was undeniably traumatic. Nearly 1,200 people were reported injured by the shock wave from the explosion, estimated to be as strong as 20 Hiroshima atomic bombs.

But it also brought a sense of cooperation in a troubled region. Large numbers of volunteers came forward to help fix the damage caused by the explosion and many residents came together on the Internet -- first to find out what happened and soon to make jokes.

Chelyabinsk, nicknamed Tankograd because it produced the famed Soviet T-34 tanks, can be as grim as its backbone-heavy industries. Long winters where temperatures routinely hit minus-22 Fahrenheit add to a general dour mien, as do worries about dangerous facilities in the surrounding region.

In 1957, a waste tank at the Mayak nuclear weapons plant in the Chelyabinsk region exploded, contaminating 9,200 square miles and prompting authorities to evacuate 10,000 nearby residents. It is now Russia's main nuclear waste disposal facility. A vast plant for disposing of chemical weapons lies 50 miles east of the city.

"The city is a place where people always seem bitter with each other," said music teacher Ilya Shibanov. But the meteor "was one of the rare times when people started to live together through one event."

"For most people, it's a good excuse for a joke," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/02/18/meteorite-fragments-spark-gold-rush-in-russia/?test=latestnews#ixzz2LGZ1zL9A

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Former contractor says she was attacked by rats at DC's Providence Hospital

    Former contractor says she was attacked by rats at DC's Providence Hospital

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:03 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:03:00 GMT
    It is an odd and very disturbing story. A hospital contractor in Northeast D.C. was attacked by rats on the job and they are the same rats she says are eating bodies in the morgue.
    It is an odd and very disturbing story. A hospital contractor in Northeast D.C. was attacked by rats on the job and they are the same rats she says are eating bodies in the morgue.
  • Surgeons find 10-year-old sex toy inside woman's body

    Surgeons find 10-year-old sex toy inside woman's body

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:49:35 GMT
    After complaining of various health problems, a Scottish woman was found to have a sex toy inside her vagina – and that it had been left there for 10 years. According to a report by STV News, the 38-year-old visited Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after contracting sepsis and experiencing severe weight loss and urinary incontinence. At the hospital, doctors conducted an X-ray of her abdomen, which showed the five-inch toy protruding into her bladder from her vagina. According to the Dail...
    After complaining of various health problems, a Scottish woman was found to have a sex toy inside her vagina – and that it had been left there for 10 years. According to a report by STV News, the 38-year-old visited Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after contracting sepsis and experiencing severe weight loss and urinary incontinence. At the hospital, doctors conducted an X-ray of her abdomen, which showed the five-inch toy protruding into her bladder from her vagina. According to the Dail...
  • New wristband will shock users if they miss fitness goals

    New wristband will shock users if they miss fitness goals

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:02:43 GMT
    A new wristband design will deliver an electric shock if the wearer does not meet fitness goals. The Pavlok wristband will be designed to track daily performance. According to the company’s website, the Pavlok compels you into keeping workout and fitness goals by using feedback, reinforcement and electric shock. READ MORE: http://pavlok.com/
    A new wristband design will deliver an electric shock if the wearer does not meet fitness goals. The Pavlok wristband will be designed to track daily performance. According to the company’s website, the Pavlok compels you into keeping workout and fitness goals by using feedback, reinforcement and electric shock. READ MORE: http://pavlok.com/
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices