An Indonesian man has become an instant millionaire after a meteorite worth £1.4 million crashed through the roof of his house.
Josua Hutagalung, from Kolang, North Sumatra, had been working next to his house on a coffin when a massive rock smashed through the roof of his veranda, near the edge of his living room.
The 33-year-old managed to dig the rock out of the ground – after it buried itself 15cm deep in the soil – and discovered that the meteorite was still warm and partially broken when he touched it.
The single stone, weighing 2.1kg, managed to leave a large hole in Josua’s tin roof.
Priced by the gram, meteorites of the cheapest pure-rock variety can fetch around $0.50 to $5,000 per gram. However, rare extra-terrestrial metals can sell for up to £1,000 per gram.
The meteorite that landed through the roof of Josua’s house is estimated to be around 4.5 billion years old and is classified as CM1/2 carbonaceous Chondrite, which is an extremely rare variety. Per gram, it would be $857 and is worth around $1.85 million.
Josua told 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.”
It wasn’t just Josua who heard the loud boom as it smashed through his tin roof, as locals say they also heard the object and that it made a booming sound as it entered his house. As it is such a rare object, many people have been visiting Josua’s house to take a closer look at the meteorite.
According to The Sun, Josua has been given the equivalent to 30 years salary for the space rock.
The father of three is planning to use some of the money so that he can build a church for his community.
He told The Sun: “I have also always wanted a daughter, and I hope this is a sign that I will be lucky enough now to have one.”
Jared Collins, a US meteorite expert, has secured a part of the main mass and has commented: “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.”
Collins shipped the space rock to the US and it was then purchased by Jay Piatek, a doctor and meteorite collector from Indianapolis, according to the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Texas, US.
In August, a further three fragments of the meteorite were found in nearby areas, one was discovered in a field less than 3km from Josua’s home.
Meanwhile, a Tanzanian miner and father of 30 has become a millionaire overnight. He managed to dig up gemstones worth £2.4 million.