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Illegal Meteorite Trade Surges, Angering Geologists

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“It’s as organized as any drug trade and just as illegal.”

- Ralph P. Harvey, geologist

Generally, you don’t want to anger geologists. For starters, these fine folks are doing important work in the fields of energy, earth metals, and anthropology. Plus, they have rocks.

Yet sadly, geologists the world over are lamenting the surge in illegal sales of asteroids and meteorites on websites like eBay. The New York Times reports that “the black market has exploded in size mainly because of a rush of new meteorites arriving from North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.”

The problem, of course, is that these treasures of science are winding up in the hands of collectors, and not actual scientists. Interest from meteorite hobbyists is relatively new, spurred by the discovery of rare meteorites from the Moon and Mars found in Libya. These prized rocks can fetch serious money online.

A quick search on eBay shows that yes, indeed, there are literally hundreds of meteorites on sale as we speak. Most are less than $100, but some can go for thousands.

A good investment? Who knows. But if you’re eager to jump on board the illegal meteorite sales wagon, maybe start with this lovely rock. Sure, it costs $7,196, but just read the description!

“QUALITY: MANY NICE LARGE REGMAGLYPTS AND SCOOPS WITH REMNANTS OF FUSION CRUST.”

I’m sold.
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