For one very lucky man, fortune literally fell from the sky into his home. Josua Hutagalung is the man lucky enough to have briefly owned a 4.8-pound, 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite worth about $2 million.
Hutagalung, a father of three, was busy doing what he does best, finishing up a coffin when the cosmic rock broke through his roof and made a 6-inch burrow under his house.
This rock is very special.
It is among the rare type that may have amino acids that played an important role in creating life in our universe.
The man clearly recalls the life-changing moment:
When I lifted it, the stone was warm. The sound was so loud that parts of the house were shaking too.
He went on to update his Facebook status:
… suddenly, a black rock fell from the sky. But whatever it is, hopefully, a good sign for our family.
At the time, he had no clue how valuable the rock was.
Hutagalung Got A Professional To Look At It
It was then that he decided to have professionals have a look at it.
That was when he discovered that it was one of the most sought-after cosmic rocks among scientists.
Meteorites are not cheap, and the more valuable varieties can go for up to $5 a gram. Others only cost about $0.5 per gram.
But the kind that Hutagalung has is worth about $1,000 per gram.
The cosmic rock was identified as CM1/2 carbonaceous Chondrite.
Scientists believe that this rock has clues that can unlock mysteries about how life formed in the universe. So important is this rock that Jared Colins, a meteorite expert in the U.S., was informed about it almost immediately:
My phone lit up with crazy offers for me to jump on a plane and buy the meteorite. I carried as much money as I could muster and went to find Josua, who turned out to be a canny negotiator.
The man did not want to sell the meteorite in chunks but wanted to sell it for the full price of $1.85 million. The rock was priced at $857 per gram.
Collins got the meteorite and took it back to the U.S., bought by Jay Piatek, an Indianapolis doctor and meteorite collector.
Additionally, three fragments that broke off the rock as it fell burning towards earth were found some miles from Hutagalung's home.
The Odds Of This Happening Are Unimaginable
The odds are astronomical that this kind of rock would land in such a place. Thomas Djamaluddin, head of National Aeronautics and Space Agency in Lapan, Indonesia, explained:
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.
The strange and valuable rock has been called Kolang, after Hutagalung's town.
With the cash he has received from the rock, Hutagalung hopes to build a church. He also hopes the rock is a good sign that he will have a daughter:
I have also always wanted a daughter, and I hope this is a sign that I will be lucky enough now to have one.
As expensive as this rock might seem, there is still a rock more expensive still in space. It's worth $10,000 quadrillion.