Meteorite found on chickpea field sold for $180,000
A farmer in the Central Anatolian province of Çorum has agreed to sell a 68-kg “meteorite,” which he found on his field two years ago, to a buyer in the United States for $180,000.
Farmer Mutlu Yılmaz came across a large rock while planting chickpeas in his field in the village of Gerdekkaya in April 2019.
Yılmaz took the rock to his home with the help of his neighbors after noticing that it looked unusual and odd. Later, a sample of the rock was sent to the United States thanks to the help offered by a U.S. resident who hailed from the village.
As a result of extensive examinations, the rock was recently certified as an iron meteorite by NASA and scientists from the University of California.
Officials from the Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate got in touch with Yılmaz and asked to display the meteorite in a museum.
The meteorite was on display at the Çorum Museum for one and a half months, and it was reported that the meteorite had 12 elements, becoming the third-largest meteorite ever found in Turkey.
Around 4,000 people visited to see the meteorite while it was on display at the museum, after which it was returned to Yılmaz.
Later Yılmaz put the meteorite, estimated to be at least 4,000 years old, for sale.
The meteorite was up for sale for two years before Yilmaz finally found a buyer from the U.S. willing to pay the price worth its value.
Noting that he agreed to sell the meteorite for $180,000, Yılmaz said that the meteor would be sent to the U.S., and the sales process would be completed according to the results of the tests and analysis to be carried out there.
“We accepted the offer and sold it. Now, we are to follow the official procedure. We are researching how we can officially take the rock abroad,” Yılmaz said, hoping that the meteorite brings luck to the person who buys it.
In 2015, several meteorites landed on an uninhabited location in Sarıçiçek, a small village in eastern Turkey’s province of Bingöl.
Villagers earned over $140,000 from the sale of these meteorites. It was later known that these meteorites broke off of a giant asteroid called “Vesta.”