Lloydminster woman cashing in on meteorite sales
Months after a fireball soared through western Canadian skies and crashed to the ground, fragments from the meteor are red-hot sellers on the internet.
Tara Patmore, who lives in Lloydminster, a city on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, was among dozens of people out looking for space rocks after the meteor scattered fragments around Buzzard Coulee, Sask., on Nov. 20.
Her father phoned her to say rocks had fallen where he lived, about 30 kilometres southeast of Lloydminster, and soon she and her family were on a meteorite-hunting expedition.
It turned out a record number of meteor pieces had fallen on the area.
"Just me, my husband and my kids, we found 21 pieces," she said.
"It kind of almost looks like black coal. Some of them also have, like chips broken off from falling to the earth, and on the inside they almost look like concrete."
Patmore put pictures of her meteorites on a Facebook page, to the amazement of her friends. "They were like, 'Oh my gosh, you could sell these.'"
So, she did, selling them online. Before long, the offers started coming.
"One of the rocks was a little smaller than a toonie and we sold it for 800 bucks," she said. "I couldn't believe that people would pay that much for a rock... [but] If they're going to pay it, I'm going to take it."
Patmore's mother and father donated dozens of the space rocks to the University of Calgary. More rocks will be donated to a university that's still to be determined. Other rocks, the family will keep.
Patmore said that after the money is spent, she'll still have a lot of memories of her adventures in the meteorite fields.