Rest of Asia

Space rock turns coffin maker into millionaire overnight

Web Report/Sumatra
Filed on November 19, 2020

The 2.2 kg piece of the meteorite that fell from the sky is valued close to Dh7 million.

Call it fate or pure luck. A bizarre incident has turned an Indonesian coffin maker into an instant millionaire.

It happened that Josua Hutagalung of Kolang, in North Sumatra, was busy making a coffin near a street in front of his house when he heard a loud booming sound that shook his home, according to a report in The Sun.

When the man went to investigate, he found that it was a piece of rock that had smashed on the roof of his home. “It was too hot to pick up so my wife dug it out with a hoe and we took it inside,” he was quoted as saying in the report.

However, this was no ordinary chunk of rock. It was a 2.2kg piece of rock from a meteorite that experts believe is perhaps 4.5 billion years old. The space rock was highly valuable as it could contain elements leading to the origins of life.

The meteorite has been classified as CM1/2 carbonaceous chondrite, a rare variety which scientists believe contains unique amino acids and other primordial elements necessary for the sparking of life itself.

Josua then sold the rock to a specialist collector who passed it on another collector. The rock is up for sale online for Dh3,680 per gram. The value drop the entire piece of rock could reach to near Dh7 million.

Josua, however, was given the equivalent of 30 several years salary in exchange for the rock and he has reportedly used some of the money to build a church for his community. The rock landed on Josua’s house in August.

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