France's news in English

Editions:  Europe · Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Belgian couple discover 3kg meteorite in garden in southwest France

Share this article

11:41 CEST+02:00
A Belgian couple living in southwest France had quite a surprise after stumbling across a meteorite weighing 3kg in their very own garden.
Claudine and Claude Guermant who live in the town of Beaugas in the Lot-et-Garonne department of southwestern France came across the 3kg meteorite nestled in between two trees on their garden lawn. 
 
It was Claudine, 76, who made the initial discovery when she was checking to make sure that the weed killer they had used on their lawn had been effective. 
 
"I saw a rock in the middle of the lawn and under it there was just a shallow mark," Claudine told local French newspaper La Depeche. "I said to myself, this is not normal, why is there a rock in the middle of the lawn? So I took it inside the house to show my husband."
 
 
Describing the meteorite in an interview with Europe 1, Claudine said: "It was about the size of a coconut, weighing 3kg it was grey and dark green in colour. It was mostly smooth with some rough patches."
 
Claude, 80, a retired professor with a phD in biochemistry inspected the stone. 
 
"When I lifted it up, the weight was abnormally high. I weighed it using pharmacy scales," he told the French press. "In addition, the meteorite, which contains iron and nickel, was strongly magnetized."
 
"When I put a compass near the stone it went crazy and it hasn't worked since," he said. 
 
And their discovery could be worth a lot of money. 
 
"The most mundane meteorites, originating from the asteroid belt, are not very expensive: a few euros a gram," Pierre Gacomeni, president of an astronomy club told La Depeche. "Then there are the meteorites that are worth the money, those originating from Mars or the moon."
 
According to Gacomeni, these meteorites can fetch up to €1,000.
 
And while thousands of tonnes of meteorite residue passes through the Earth's atmosphere every year, most of it is dust.
 
In fact, there is only one chance in 180 million of discovering a whole, intact meteorite. 
 
Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.