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Farmer’s "Doorstop" Valued At $100K After Incredible Discovery

CMU - YouTube

It's not everyday that something laying around your house turns out to be worth a small fortune.

But the "neat" rock that David Mazurek kept at his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan was not just any old paperweight.

The retiree's old rock turned out to be a nest egg that could be worth $100,000, or possibly even more.  

"I could tell right away that this was something special."

Mazurek became the rock's owner in 1988, when he bought a farm in Edmore, Michigan.

While touring the property, he noticed an odd-shaped brown rock being used to prop open a shed door.

Mazurek asked what the rock was, and the farmer offered a surprising answer: it was a meteorite.

The man claimed he and his father heard the space rock crash into their property in the 1930s, and said it "made a heck of a noise when it hit."

This video shows another meteorite crash-landing in Michigan earlier this year:

Despite the rock's out-of-this-world origin, the farmer threw it in with his property, and Mazurek kept it for more than three decades.

Like the farmer, he just thought it was "cool to look at," and let his children take it to school for show and tell.

But after hearing that shards of a meteorite that crashed in Michigan had sold for a high price, Mazurek took his "doorstop" to be appraised at Central Michigan University.

And geologist Mona Sirbescu said she "could tell right away that this was something special."

A Bidding War For The Space Rock

Meteorite CMU
Professor Mona Sirbescu could tell in an instant the rock was a meteorite.Mackenzie Brockman - CMU

Thousands of meteorites hit the earth each year, but most go unnoticed because they land in the ocean, or away from cities and towns.

While a space rock's size and what elements it's made from determine its value, all meteorites are worth something, and there's a large market for collectors.

Sirbescu says people ask her all the time if odd rocks they found are meteorites.

"For 18 years, the answer has been categorically 'no,'" she said. "Meteor wrongs, not meteorites."

But laboratory tests confirmed Mazurek's rock was the real deal, and made of a valuable iron-nickel mix.

That was all Mazurek needed to hear. “I’m done using it for a doorstop," he said, "let’s get a buyer.”

Already, a bidding war is brewing over the rock, which is the sixth-biggest in Michigan's history and just the 12th identified there.

The Smithsonian museum has valued the meteorite, which they named the Edford, at $100,000.

But tests are underway at UCLA to see if it contains rare elements that would bump up the value.

The Smithsonian and another museum in Maine have already expressed interest in the rock, and Sirbescu called it "the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically."

While Mazurek said his family doesn't "need" any more money, "it would be nice."

But he's not hoarding the payday, because 10% of the rock's value is already pledged to CMU's earth and atmospheric science students.

[H/T: WOOD, CMU]

Can you imagine finding a rock worth $100,000?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com