Hundreds Of Meteorite Rocks Worth Up To £20,000 Fall On Town
The pieces of space rock are believed to be part of a 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite, dating back to the start of the solar system.
The fragments of rock have been found in Santa Filomena, in northeastern Brazil.
Only one percent of meteorites are of this type, and specimens can sell for tens of thousands of pounds.
Local people from the poor, rural town who have found one have become instantly rich.
One of the meteorite pieces weighed in at 40kg and is worth more than £20,000.
Student Edimar da Costa Rodrigues, 20, said he saw the sky 'fill up with smoke' while he was at home.
As reported by Daily Mail, Mr Costa Rodrigues said: "The price is getting close to 40 reals (£5.50) per gram, and it's getting higher. Only a few days ago it was half that.
"Ninety percent of the town's population are farmers. There aren't many shops, nothing that generates jobs. It's a humble place, with people on a low wage.
"Most people think it's a really good thing. Lots of people have found a rock, and it has come at a time when many really need some money to pay the bills."
Gabriel Silva, from Sao Paulo University's Chemistry Institute, told the same publication: "This meteorite is of the chondrite type.
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"It is one of the first minerals that formed in the Solar System, before the Earth.
"The meteorite could tell us much about how the universe was formed."
Antonio Miranda, from Pernambuco state's federal university, said: "Meteorites are rare things, a diamond of science, and they are worth a lot of money.
"But for me they should be treated the same as the discovery of a diamond or gold deposits, and belong to the person who own's the land on which they are found.
"The most just thing would be for the authorities to say that any rock which will fell on the town belongs to Santa Filomena and cannot be sold or taken away."
Mr Silva added: "This meteorite caused a lot of excitement among collectors and researchers. The demand is high and so the price suddenly shot up.
"There aren't many Brazilians who are able to buy the 40kg meteorite, so foreign millionaires are buying them to take abroad and sell for even more.
"Instead they should open a museum in the town and display the meteorite pieces. It would attract tourists and would enable scientific research."
Featured Image Credit: Michael Farmer
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