Close Window
Meteorite Gold Rush After South Korean Impacts March 21, 2014
South Korean meteorite being cleaned and examined.
This 9.8-pound rock found in a greenhouse in Jinju, South Korea, was confirmed to be a piece of a meteor that exploded entering Earth’s atmosphere.
Residents of the South Korean city of Jinju have been scouring the surrounding hills and rice paddies in search of meteorites since a fireball shattered overhead earlier this month.

The country’s science institute confirmed that two rocks found in the area were “ordinary chondrite” meteorites of high iron composition.

That sent off a rush of treasure hunters, looking for stones that can be sold to collectors for tens of thousands of dollars each.

The stones are believed to have come from the same chunk of space debris that exploded while entering Earth’s atmosphere on March 9.

The government says it will designate any meteorites found as cultural assets to stop them from being taken out of the country.

The meteorites from Jinu are the first to be discovered on the Korean Peninsula since one was found during the Japanese occupation 71 years ago.