Meteorites are scattered all over the surface of our planet, but they're rarely found. For one, there's a needle-in-a-haystack quality endemic to hunting for meteorites, and most people don't really know what they're looking for. Knowing that meteorites are much, much older than any other rock on Earth doesn't necessarily make them easier to find. The reward for discovering a rock that's billions of years old can be great indeed, and not just from a scientific or academic perspective. Because of their age, importance and rarity, meteorites can be worth a lot of money.

But at least in this country, someone who's found a meteorite may not be on the road to riches. If the rock is on your property, you're in luck. But if you're searching on someone else's land, even if the owner has given you permission for that express purpose, the property owner may still have legal rights to any meteorite you may find. Most hobbyists hunt on public land, where they can take up to 10 pounds of meteorities for free, but if you plan to sell your findings you'll have to pay a percentage of the rock's value.

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