Facebook users flagged a story this week as prospective codswallop, bearing the headline “A rock that was used as a doorstop for the past 30 years turns out to be a meteorite valued at $100K.”

The rock arrived on Earth sometime in the 1930s, according its owner, who obtained it in 1988 when he bought a farm in Edmore, about 30 miles southwest of Mount Pleasant. While touring the property, the man spotted the rock propping open a door and asked the farmer what it was. The farmer told him it was a meteorite, that it was part of the property and he could have it.


The Smithsonian and a mineral museum in Maine are considering purchasing the meteorite for display, according to CMU. If a sale goes through, the man has agreed to give 10% of the sale value to the university for the study of earth and atmospheric sciences.

While many misinformation websites use the CNN logo coupled with an address variant (e.g. breaking-cnn.com, cnn-trending.com, etc.) this one comes from the very official CNN.com. For those boomers-and-beyond, another simple way to determine the validity of a story is to search the headline in Google. As a general principle, if other actual news outlets are covering the story it’s most likely legit. (The Poynter Institute has a great many helpful tips for those looking to avoid online misinformation.)

CNN’s report of the meteoric rise of a doorstop is legitimate. But some were not satisfied.

One Facebook user, channeling his inner Neil deGrasse Tyson questioned why the value was deemed at only $100,000. “So a meteor rock valued at 100k and yesterday a bottle of whiskey was sold for 1 million? ... what’s the logic in that?!”

To a journalist, the difference makes perfect sense. After all, can you drink a rock?

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