Man's Rock Turns Out To Be More Valuable Than Gold

Chisom Ndianefo
Generic picture of a Golden Rock
Shutterstock | 3837857

Seven years ago, an Australian man, David Hole, discovered a funny-looking giant rock and took it home for inspection thanks to his metal detector. The reddish rock had yellow clay surrounding it hence his curiosity as he hoped to find gold nested within.

It was a foolproof plan since he found the rock in Maryborough Regional Park, Melbourne - the center for the 1800s Australian gold rush. His attempts to break the rock and reach his treasure proved futile, but he didn't give up and his patience brought something even better than gold - a rare meteorite!

The Rock Won't Budge

Hole tried everything he knew as a scientist to break the rock open, but it didn't budge. He used an angle grinder, acid, a drill, a rock saw, and a sledgehammer, all to no avail. Out of frustration, he took his rock to Melbourne Museum, hoping to get answers and perhaps have experts open it another way.

Surprisingly, they revealed to Hole that what he brought wasn't a rock hiding gold but a 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite!

A Rarity From Hole

According to the Maryborough Museum scientists, the meteorite formed from the atmosphere as a reaction to the external melting during travel to earth. Hole was one of hundreds of thousands of people to present weird rocks to the museum for inspection.

However, he was also one of two that turned out to have really valuable items. The museum's researchers christened Hole's rock "Maryborough," like the name of the town it landed in. Then, they documented its existence based on their findings.

What's Inside?

Artist depiction of a meteor approaching Earth.
Shutterstock | 874285

The meteorite weighs 37.5 pounds which is about 17 kg and contains a high quantity of iron. Upon opening it (yes, they succeeded where Hole failed, sort of), the researchers discovered chondrules inside.

Chondrules are "tiny crystallized droplets of metallic minerals" often found in meteorites; hence they were evidence of the rock's true nature. They couldn't place the rock's exact origin but made educated guesses.

Maryborough's Origin

The carbon contents put the meteorite's stay on earth for no less than 100 years and no more than a thousand years. Based on reports from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries, the scientists suggested it landed between 1889 and 1951.

As one of 17 meteorites found in Australia, Maryborough is a rare scientific find. They posit it fell from Mars, Jupiter, or somewhere in between due to asteroids smashing against themselves. Stay alert when you see funny-looking rocks as you may find a rarity too.