Hoba Meteorite Namibia - the largest in the world

The world's largest meteorite mentioned in Guinness Book of Records - the pride of Namibia.

The world's largest meteorite - Hoba is located in the north of Namibia and can be found on the farm Hoba in vicinity of northern town Grootfontein. It was discovered and first described by J. Brits in 1920. His statement can be seen in the Grootfontein Museum.hobainfo.JPG (14908 bytes)

The iron meteorite discovered is the largest single meteorite ever found and the largest piece of iron ever found near Earth's surface. It is tabular in shape and was given the name "Hoba" because it was discovered on a farm named "Hoba West."

A farmer was plowing a field near Grootfontein, Namibia when his plow suddenly screeched to a halt. Curious about what he had run into, he dug in the soil to find a large piece of metal. The large metal mass quickly attracted the attention of scientists and others, who identified it as a meteorite and removed the soil around it. Although excavated, the meteorite has not been moved from its location of discovery because of its great weight. However, many pieces have been removed for scientific study and through vandalism.

YouTube video of Hoba Meteorite:


The Hoba meteorite weights approximately 60 tons and has a measures 2.95 by 2.84 meters. Not only the size and its weight that makes this single largest known meteorite in the world so unique but also its cuboid shape which is highly unusual amongst meteorites. It was declared a national monument in March 1955 but despite the fact still suffered from vandals over the years.
The estimated age of meteorite is between 200 and 400 million years and it fell on Earth approximately 80 000 years ago.
The meteorite consists of 82.4% iron, 16.4% nickel and 0.76% cobalt. The scientific classification of Hoba Meteorite is nickel-rich ataxite.

No crater?

It is surprising that this meteorite is not surrounded by a crater. Objects of this size should punch through the atmosphere at a very high rate of speed and hit Earth with enough force to blast a significant crater. No crater is present around the site of the meteorite. This suggests that it fell to earth at a lower rate of speed than expected. Some scientists believe that the flat shape of the object may be responsible for its low velocity at impact.

A National Monument of Namibia

The Namibian government has declared the meteorite and the site where it rests as a national monument. The site now has a small tourist center and is visited by thousands of people each year.
In 1985 the Rossing Uranium Ltd. made funds available for the purpose of combating vandalism.
The meteorite site was donated by farm owner for educational purposes in 1987 and facilities (information centre, kiosk, etc.) were opened in the same year. Camping is available at Meteorite Camp nearby.
Hoba meteorite is the largest known single meteorite in the world.

Images: Falling meteor sign | Meteorite | Sign to Hoba | Gibeon meteorite shower | Brochure

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