Residents of the Urals region in Russia who were hit by the meteor shower have been converting the disaster into cash by collecting fragments of the meteorite and selling them.
The trail of a falling object is seen above the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, in this view from a residential apartment February 15, 2013. About 400 people were injured when a meteorite shot across the sky in central Russia on Friday sending fireballs crashing to Earth, smashing windows and setting off car alarms. REUTERS/Igor Lyapustin
So far, they have recovered more than 100 fragments, the largest of which weighs 1.8 kilogramme.
Besides the physical fragments, which are sold online, the residents also are offering T-shirts (probably with I Survived the Meteorite Crash designs), guided tours and even cookies that would serve as a memorabilia of the meteorite hit.
Local ski enthusiast found the largest fragment on Monday. Viktor Grokhovsky of the Urals University said the fragment needs to be weighed first and then conserved to prevent acidification.
Reports said the fragment found by Masha Plnkova on Monday evening weighs 1.8 kilogrammes.
Mr Grokhovsky expects more fragments to be found, including the possible largest chunk believed to lie at the bottom of Lake Chebarkul and measuring up to 60 centimetres in diameter. The size is based on a 20-foot-wide hole in the ice covering the lake.
Teams are in the lake area to search for more fragments.
However, there is no assurance that the fragments being sold online really came from the meteor shower. Among the sales pitch that the finders use is that the fragments would bring good luck or help treat depression. Price ranges from a few dollars to $16,000.
Candy makers are also cashing in on the meteor shower by applying to license brand names such as Mystery Meteorite, Urals Meteorite and Chebarkul Meteorite for their candies and cookies.
The meteorite hit on Feb 15 had injured about 1,500 residents, but appears to be a blessing in disguise in the celestial event by converting the fragments and other similar items into cash.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Jaden Smith Clarifies Emancipation Reports with Dad Will Smith on TV Show ‘Ellen’ [PHOTOS AND VIDEO]
- Robsten Romance: New Thorns on the Rosy Love Between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart [SLIDESHOW]
- IN PHOTOS! Top Moments on American Idol 2013 Final Show [SLIDESHOW]
- SEE PHOTOS! Eva Longoria Wears No Panties at Cannes 2013, Revealed in Embarrassing Wardrobe Malfunction [SLIDESHOW]