An Indonesian man became an instant millionaire when a meteorite worth £1.4 million crashed through the roof of his house.
Coffin maker Josua Hutagalung, 33, said he was working next to his house when the space rock smashed into his living room in Kolang, North Sumatra back in August.
He told local news website Kompas: ‘When I lifted it, the stone was still warm and I brought it into the house.
‘The sound was so loud that parts of the house were shaking too. And after I searched, I saw that the tin roof of the house had broken.
‘I strongly suspect that this rock is indeed an object from the sky that many people call a meteorite.
‘Because it is impossible someone deliberately threw it or dropped it from above.’
The rock, which weighed 2.1kg and left a large hole in the roof, is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old.
It is classified as CM1/2 carbonaceous Chondrite, an extremely rare variety – which is worth around £1.4 million, or £645 per gram.
Metoerites are always priced by gram with the cheapest varieties costing 50p to £5 per gram, and those with rare extra-terrestrial metals selling for up to £750 to per gram.
Josua was reportedly given the equivalent to 30 years’ salary for the space rock.
The dad-of-three said he would use some of the money to build a church in his community.
‘I have also always wanted a daughter, and I hope this is a sign that I will be lucky enough now to have one,’ he told the Sun.
Dozens of people have visited Josua’s house to see the rare object.
‘Many people have come, out of curiosity, and want to see the stone,’ he said.
Three further fragments of the meteorite, which has been officially named as Kolang, were found in nearby areas when it crashed.
One was discovered in a paddy field less than 3km from Josua’s home.
The Lunar and Planetary Institute in Texas estimates the total weight of the whole meteorite was 2.5kg.
The interior of the meteor is dark grey and black, with small light-coloured speckles.
US meteorite expert Jared Collins, who bought part of the rock, said: ‘My phone lit up with crazy offers for me to jump on a plane and buy the meteorite.
‘It was in the middle of the Covid crisis and frankly it was a toss-up between buying the rock for myself or working with scientists and collectors in the US.
‘I carried as much money as I could muster and went to find Josua, who turned out to be a canny negotiator.’
The meteorite was shipped to the US, where it was reportedly bought by Jay Piatek, a doctor and meteorite collector from Indianapolis.
Thomas Djamaluddin, the head of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency, said it was a rare phenomenon for the meteorite to fall in a residential area.
‘The amount of waste rock from the formation of the solar system is very large in space. Most of the meteorites fall in locations far from settlements, such as oceans, forests, or deserts,’ he added.
In August, as many as 200 fragments of a 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite fell in Santa Filomena, north-eastern Brazil.
The largest weighed 40kg and is worth more than £20,000, which is the same as 10 years’ worth of the average salary in the area.
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