The space rock that landed in Maine is worth $25,000 to anyone who can find it.
Written by Jessica Jodrolet | published
If you live in New England, drop everything to grab a metal detector and head to Maine. The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum is offering a $25,000 reward to anyone who finds a space rock that recently crashed into Earth, according to a… interrupt. Meteorite hunters are already looking for expensive rocks, so competition can be tough.
After tracking a fireball across the sky, NASA believes that part of the meteorite landed on the US-Canada border, most likely near Witte, Maine, and Canoes, New Brunswick. Searching for space rocks in this area can be difficult, as it is a very wooded area with lots of mud and trees. This type of terrain would provide plenty of good hiding places for an extraterrestrial meteorite and make trekking through the jungle more difficult.
A meteorite hunter named Roberto Vargas had reached the neck of the jungle twice already in search of the Space Rock. And yes, meteorite hunter is a real term. It applies to those who hunt for meteorites recreationally or who do it full time for a living.
The best way to find meteorites is to use metal detectors and magnets to pick up pieces of ferrous space rock, even if they are beneath the soil. It is important to search for meteorites as soon as possible as they are usually buried under the vegetation or topography of the surrounding area within a few months of landing on Earth.
The museum is only looking for a one-kilogram specimen of space rock, which is about the size of a bag of sugar or a pineapple. If you think you’ve found the meteorite, you can bring it to the museum for testing, though it will cost you a fee. If it turns out to be the coveted space rock, you should be able to afford the test after a $25,000 reward.
The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum (located in Bethel, Maine) is looking forward to adding a new space rock to its already huge collection of items. In addition to featuring Earth’s largest display of lunar and Martian meteorites, the museum is also proud that they have the largest piece of Mars – a 14.5-kilogram piece of the fourth planet from the sun. And if you’re looking for local jewelry, the museum sells necklaces, rings, and more made from the gemstones of Maine.
The reason for the exceptionally high amount of the reward is due to the difficulty in finding space rocks. In 2016, the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum offered a $20,000 reward for a similar meteorite that landed in Maine, this time near the Quebec border. The one kilogram meteorite has not been found, so hopefully the extra $5,000 added to this bounty will attract more meteorite hunters to find the space rock.
The new meteor bounty is not just for Americans. Our neighbors to the north can also turn the space rock to claim the $25,000 prize.