Most people had a bad 2021. Ruth Hamilton of Golden, British Columbia, had one of the worst. She’s the poor woman who woke up on October 4, 2021, to find a meteorite had crashed through her roof and landed on her pillow. Fortunately, she had just rolled over – perhaps the only lucky part of this story, because she had to get her roof repaired. The only known death by meteorite occurred in 1888 in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, when one man was killed and another paralyzed by a space rock. However, none of them have parlayed their meteoric misfortune into near millions as well as Roky. Who’s Roky? A German Shepherd in Costa Rica whose doghouse was hit by a meteorite shower in 2019 and who now stands to earn up to $300,000 or more when said doghouse and the meteorite sell at auction. And yes – Roky is still around to spend his cut in treats and steak bones.
“In the rain forest of north central Costa Rica is the city of Aguas Zarcas (pop. 20,200). On April 23, 2019 at 9:07 p.m., a German Shephard named Roky experienced quite a fright. A meteorite, part of a shower of exotic stone meteorites loaded with organic compounds (see lots 26 and 31), crashed through his doghouse, barely missing him. The formal coordinates of Roky’s home, 10°24’9.35"N 84°21’51.26"W, are now forever part of the scientific literature.”
Roky’s doghouse (the owner’s name is not mentioned but appears in photos) is listed on the Christie’s auction house website as part of the ‘Deep Impact: Martian, Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites’ collection which is accepting bids on it, the meteorite and 64 other meteorites and space rock paraphernalia until February 23rd. According to the writeups, the fireball was caught on multiple cameras including ones on the summits of two volcanoes. Poor Roky’s house was in bad shape – while the rock missed him, it put a 7-inch hole in the tin roof (still there) and destroyed the pressed wood floor (replaced). The rest is intact, including the words “House” and “Roky” on a wall, and a large “R” on the front.
“This meteorite is 70% covered with fusion crust, the result of its fiery plunge through Earth’s atmosphere. Regmaglypts (thumbprint-shaped indentations, another aerodynamic artifact) are also in evidence.”
The meteorite (see it here) is also intact – the owner managed to find it before rain caused the Carbonaceous Chondrite (CM2) space rock to disintegrate. Christie’s notes some similar auction items from the past -- a meteorite hit a mailbox in Claxton, Georgia was sold at auction in 2007 for $83,000; a Chevy Malibu hit by a piece of the 1992 Peekskill (New York) meteorite sold one week later for $69,000 and again in 2010 for $230,000. The estimated value of Roky’s meteorite doghouse is USD $200,000 - USD $300,000 but it’s expected to sell for more, although the high bid as of this writing is just $1,600. The “Aguas Zarcas Cm2 Meteorite — Into The Doghouse Carbonaceous chondrite – CM2” is valued at USD $40,000 - USD $60,000 and the current bid is USD $2,200. The Christie’s website has all of the details on submitting bids for both.
Come on, people! Roky needs a new doghouse!