Current Date: 03 Dec, 2023
Top 6 Largest Meteorites Ever Found on Earth
Interesting Facts

Top 6 Largest Meteorites Ever Found on Earth

When space meteorites hurtle towards Earth, they frequently burn up in the atmosphere before reaching us. Those that burn up become meteors - or shooting stars.

When space meteorites hurtle towards Earth, they frequently burn up in the atmosphere before reaching us. Those that burn up become meteors - or shooting stars.

The lucky few who make the entire journey end up landing on Earth as meteorites. Except for little weathering, these meteorites can live as a single rock on the surface for thousands of years.

Asteroids are significantly larger, such as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 63 million years ago, and 2012 DA14, which almost missed the Earth in 2013.

Here are some of the largest space rocks to ever collide with us and survive.


Willamette is the largest meteorite ever found in the US, at 7.8 square metres (84 square feet) long and with a weight of 15.5 tonnes (34,000 pounds).

Photo Credit: American Museum of Natural History

The Willamette Meteorite, which is composed of iron and nickel, was purchased by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City in 1906.

It has a unique backstory because it was discovered in 1902 by Ellis Hughes, who recognized it was more than just a chunk of granite and spent three months transferring it three-quarters of a mile from land held by the Oregon Iron and Steel Company, but he was caught.

The photograph above was shot in 1911 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.


Mbozi was discovered in Tanzania in the 1930s. It's 3 metres long and weighs an estimated 25 tonnes, or almost twice that of Willamette.

Photo credit: Christiaan Zeelenberg / Wikimedia Commons

Mbozi was originally considered a sacred stone by the Tanzanians, who referred to it as kimondo.

There was no crater observed, implying that it most likely rolled like a boulder when it collided with the Earth's surface.

When Mbozi was discovered, it was half-buried, so villagers dug the hillside around it, leaving a pillar of soil behind, which was eventually transformed into a plinth.


The third-largest meteorite in history, the Cape York meteorite, collided with Earth nearly 10,000 years ago.

Photo Credit: Mike Cassano / Wikimedia Commons

The Cape York meteorite, also known as the Agpalilik meteorite, was discovered in Greenland in 1993 and weighs around 20 tonnes.

It's been around for a long time, and Inuit who lived nearby utilized other parts to make tools and harpoons.

It is currently on display at the University of Copenhagen's Geological Museum in Denmark.


The Bacubirito meteorite is the largest meteorite ever found in Mexico and weighs about as much as the Cape York.

Photo credit: saxxon57/Flickr

The Bacubirito meteorite was discovered in 1863 in the village of Ranchito, near the town of Sinaloa de Leyva, by geologist Gilbert Ellis Bailey.

He'd been despatched to Central and South America by the Chicago journal the Interocean, where he excavated the meteorite with the help of locals.

It's a 20-tonne iron meteorite that is 4.25 meters long, 2 meters wide, and 1.75 meters high. It is currently on display at Sinaloa's Centro de Ciencias.


El Chaco is the second largest meteorite on Earth, weighing in at almost twice as much as Bacubirito. Plus, it's just a fragment.

Photo Credit: Carlos Zito/Wikimedia Commons

The Campo del Cielo meteorite group is responsible for the 60 sq km crater field of the same name in Argentina.

El Chaco, one of the parts, is the second-heaviest meteorite recovered on Earth, weighing 37 tonnes.

It was discovered in 1969, 5 metres below the earth, using a metal detector, despite the fact that the surrounding craters were already widely known to locals.

In 1990, meteorite hunter Robert Haag plotted to steal El Chaco, but he was apprehended by a local Argentinean police officer.

In 2016, another part was recovered from the ground, which was thought to be part of the same shower as El Chaco.


But the largest meteorite on earth is this monster, named Hoba. It is located in Namibia, and has never been moved.

Photo Credit: Compl33t/Wikimedia Commons

Hoba weighs nearly twice as much as its nearest competitor, El Chaco, at 60 tonnes.

With a surface area of 6.5 square metres, it is the largest naturally occurring piece of iron known on Earth's surface.

It is assumed to have landed some 80,000 years ago, and due to its massive size, it has never been moved since.

It also didn't have to be dug up because, according to one explanation, the meteorite's form led it to skip along the Earth's surface rather than crashing and burying itself.