Meteorites Can Totally Make You Rich

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Looking for a place where wealth literally falls out of the sky? Head to Rescue, California, where you can find meteorites which go for around $1,000 per gram. According to The Los Angeles Times' Diana Marcum, there's a different type of California "gold rush" going on, the result of a meteorite leaving the Coloma-Lotus Valley of California littered with meteor fragments fetching thousands of dollars on the meteor black market. (Seriously.) "The meteorites are invaluable to science but on the open market can also fetch $1,000 a gram, or more for larger, pristine pieces," writes Marcum, who adds this anecdote: "a firefighter had stopped to search at the park on his way to work and found a 2-gram meteorite in less than 20 minutes. A dealer paid him $2,000 on the spot."  To put that in perspective, gold, according to this morning's prices from Bloomberg, is valued at about $1664.86 an ounce, or around a mere $58 per gram. 

"A large piece is out here somewhere," a NASA scientist told Marcum. "I get goose bumps just thinking about it. We know so much about meteorites but understand so little. They can pull water from space. They may have formed the oceans. They may have seeded life." There's probably a thoughtful, scientifically significant reason to find these fragments, but, you know, all we can think about is getting our hands on a six-figure space rock.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.