Man becomes a multi-millionaire when a meteorite lands in his garden

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[Reading level: B2 – Upper Intermediate]

A coffin maker in Indonesia became an instant millionaire – when a £1.4 million lump of space rock crashed through his roof.

 

Josua Hutagalung, 33, was at home when the football-sized meteorite smashed through the veranda at the edge of his living room.

The lump of space rock is worth £1.4million – Tảng đá không gian trị giá 1,4 triệu bảng Anh

Experts have hailed the 4.5billion-year-old space rock as one of the most significant meteorite finds ever – saying it could contain elements which give clues to the origins of life.

 

Josua, of Kolang, in North Sumatra, has already sold the rock to a specialist collector – and it’s given him enough money to retire and build a new church in his village.

 

He said: “I was working on a coffin near the street in front of my house when I heard a booming sound that made my house shake. It was as if a tree had fallen on us.

 

“It was too hot to pick up so my wife dug it out with a hoe and we took it inside.”

 

He was given the equivalent of 30 years’ salary for the 2.2kg rock.

 

The kind-hearted dad of three pledged to use some of the money to build a church for his community.

 

He said: “I have also always wanted a daughter, and I hope this is a sign that I will be lucky enough now to have one.”

 

Space rock expert Jared Collins was dispatched from his home in Bali to secure the meteorite.

 

The American said: “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.”

 

Fragments of the meteorite secured by a second collector are currently on sale on eBay for 757 pounds sterling a gram, valuing the 1.839g ‘hammerstone’ – as the main rock is called – at nearly £1.4 million.

 

Collins shipped the space rock to America, where it was bought by an American collector who has it stored in liquid nitrogen at the Centre for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University.

 

The meteorite is classified as CM1/2 carbonaceous Chondrite, an extremely rare variety which scientists believe contains unique amino acids and other primordial elements necessary for the sparking of life itself.

 

The rock smashed into the ground back in August.

 

Other meteorites have commanded high prices due to the rare metals inside them. The Fukang meteorite, found in China in 2000, is worth around £1.5million. It is a pallasite meteorite, containing olivine crystals, and is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old.

Experts have hailed the 4.5billion-year-old space rock as one of the most significant meteorite finds ever – Các chuyên gia đã ca ngợi tảng đá không gian 4,5 tỷ năm tuổi là một trong những phát hiện thiên thạch quan trọng nhất từ trước đến nay

Why are meteorites so expensive? – Tại sao thiên thạch lại đắt như vậy?

They are popular with collectors – particularly those with a good story behind them. Meteorites that strike objects or have been seen by witnesses can command extremely high prices. Space objects made from iron–nickel pallasite laced with olivine crystals are particularly desirable.

 

Experts say the market for meteorites is driven by those fascinated by space, and the fact that they are often some of the oldest objects ever found on Earth. Celebrities including Steven Spielberg and Nicolas Cage have bought meteorites at auctions.

 

Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13218272/indonesia-meteorite-space-rock-roof-millionaire/

WORD BANK:

coffin /ˈkɒf.ɪn/ (n): quan tài

lump /lʌmp/ [C2] (n): tảng, cục, miếng

veranda /vəˈræn.də/ (n): hiên nhà

edge /edʒ/ (n): rìa

hail /heɪl/ [C2] (v): gọi, ca ngợi

meteorite /ˈmiː.ti.ər.aɪt/ (n): thiên thạch

clue /kluː/ [B2] (n): manh mối

hoe /həʊ/ (n): cái cuốc

equivalent of sth /ɪˈkwɪv.əl.ənt/ [C1] (n): thứ, điều tương đương với cái gì

pledge to do sth /pledʒ/ (v): cam kết làm gì

dispatch /dɪˈspætʃ/ (v): cử đi, gửi đi

secure /sɪˈkjʊər/ (v): có được, mua được cái gì khó kiếm

frankly /ˈfræŋ.kli/ [B2] (adv): một cách thẳng thắn

toss-up (n): cuộc đấu trí (không biết nên chọn giữa cái gì và cái gì

muster /ˈmʌs.tər/ (v): gom, tập hợp

canny /ˈkæn.i/ (adj): khôn ngoan

negotiator /nɪˈɡəʊ.ʃi.eɪ.tər/ (n): nhà đàm phán

fragment /ˈfræɡ.mənt/ (n): mảnh

primordial /praɪˈmɔː.di.əl/ (adj): nguyên thủy

spark /spɑːk/ [C2] (v): gây ra, tạo ra một chuỗi sự kiện

crystal /ˈkrɪs.təl/ [C2] (n): tinh thể

lace sth with sth /leɪs/ (v): đính thêm, pha thêm

auction /ˈɔːk.ʃən/ [C1] (n): cuộc đấu giá


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