Back in 2015, David Hole found a unique looking rock in Maryborough Regional Park near Melbourne, Australia. Thinking it might have gold inside, he took it home with him only to find that no matter what he did he could not break it.
After holding on to the rock for a few years, he decided to take it to the Melbourne Museum to see if it could be identified. "I've looked at a lot of rocks that people think are meteorites," Melbourne Museum geologist Dermot Henry told 10 daily.
"And as we often have to say, they're meteor-wrongs," he continued. Henry added that in 37 years of working at the museum only two rocks have ever turned out to be meteorites.
Hole's rock turned out to be just that and the researchers called it Maryborough after the town where it was discovered. The meteorite is an impressive 4.6 billion years old.
Now the researchers are exploring the rock to see what it can tell them about space.
Cheap space exploration
"Meteorites provide the cheapest form of space exploration. They transport us back in time, providing clues to the age, formation, and chemistry of our Solar System (including Earth)," said Henry in a media release.
"Some provide a glimpse at the deep interior of our planet. In some meteorites, there is 'stardust' even older than our Solar System, which shows us how stars form and evolve to create elements of the periodic table. Other rare meteorites contain organic molecules such as amino acids; the building blocks of life."
The rock measures 38.5cm x 14.5cm x 14.5cm and weighs 17 kilograms. The specimen is quite rare being one of only 17 meteorites ever recorded in Victoria.
It is also the second-largest chondritic mass, after a 55-kilogram meteorite found in 2003. This begs the question what other simple looking rocks out there could actually be rare meteorites?