Meteorites are coming to an auction house near you next month. Christie's London has organized a sale of over 83 space rocks at their South Kensington location, which are expected to go for £3.4 million ($3.81 million) on April 20. The most expensive of the bunch -- described as "the world's largest oriented meteorite with extraterrestrial gemstones" -- is estimated at £500,000-£800,000 ($704,000-$1,126,400), and weighs 1,433 pounds.
Also on view is the Valera meteorite, which fell in Trujillo, Venezuela in 1972 and is on record as the only falling space rock to have killed a mammal. Its victim? An unsuspecting cow. Perhaps thanks to its sordid history, the Valera is a relative bargain with an estimate of £4,000–£6,000 ($5,632–$8,448). The "killer meteorite" was last sold at Bonhams in 2007 for $1,553.
But if you're in the market for something a bit more art-focused, take a gander at this celebrated hunk of Gibeon meteorite below, which the auction house describes as "an otherworldly evocation of Edvard Munch's 'The Scream.'" We're not seeing it, but maybe it is like Magic Eye, and we need to try harder.
"These meteors give you a sense of wonder, as seeing something extraterrestrial is always very strange," specialist James Hyslop told The Daily Mail. "It's a strange thing to hold a piece of another planet or a rock from space as for most of us it is the closet we can get to being there."
A public viewing of the meteorites will begin on April 16. The sale will take place on April 20 and 2:30 p.m.
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