[meteorite-list] Fossils and Meteorites
From: dean bessey <deanbessey_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:42:06 2004
><< .....They can go into outer space and get more from an >inexhaustible
>supply....[snip]....But for meteorites, no one can >claim rarity, since
>they are out there in vast quantities. >>
And yes, fossils are theoritically not inexhaustible. Crude oil is not
inexhaustible. But for the last hundred years we have been pumping it as
fast as we can and it wont run out tomorrow. The typical jumbo jet is
between 50 and 70 percent lighter by weight when it lands than when it takes
off - the difference being fuel. You wont have to worry about not having
fossil fuel to fill your car next year. There is plenty to go around.
Same with fossils. In morocco there is a mountain called "tabourikt". It is
70 kilometers in diameter and there is a 3 or 4 foot trench dug 15 feet deep
around it. Most of the trilobites that I have on ebay comes from that
mountain. The entire mountain has a layer of trilobites. If 10,000 people
dug full time into that mountain looking for trilobites you wouldent exhaust
the supply in your lifetime. Many tens of thousands of trilobites have come
from that mountain and probably a small fraction of one percent have been
removed. Hundreds of people have been making a living from that one mountain
for 20 years. And that is one mountain. There are hundreds of mountains
world wide like that. The georgian bay area in ontario is filled with
fossils, as is much of the midwest US and much of the sahara desert.
Have you ever noticed that almost any gravel pit or quarry is laden with
fossils almost anywhere in the world.
You could take all of the resources in the world and only find a small
percentage of the worlds fossils in the next 200 years.
For all practical purposes the supply of fossils actually is inexhaustible.
Like most things governments get interested when money is involved. by
banning fossil collecting much info is lost on the history of the world and
since fossils are everywhere it cant all be policed so collectors search in
secret, sometimes falsifing find info and dont clean up after themselves as
much as they would normally do in an effort to avoid getting caught.
Certaintly they dont tell all of the info about their finds in fear that
authorities will find out - which further hampers the increase in knowledge
of world history. Its all money. Australia didnt give a s--- about
meteorites until haag found one worth a million dollars. So in an effort to
ensure that nobody else found one they banned meteorite collecting
(Effectively thats what the law did). Australia figures that having
meteorites rusting away in the outback is preferable to some scientists in
the united states getting to study something thats worth a million dollars
and possibly finding out some new secret to the universe. If we cant find
out then nobody can.
They are the ultimate dog in a manger. The australian government wont put
the resources in finding and studying meteorites so nobody can study them.
Let kangaroos piss on them.
Its all money. If haag never found the million dollar one they wouldent have
made the law. If calcalong creek was only worth $2 a gram the law would not
have been put in place and australian meteorites would still be unveiling
secrets of the universe to us.
In fact its meteorites and not fossils that are exhaustable. A few thousand
dealers and collectors have hunted out parts of the sahara desert already in
a couple years. Nomads in morocco indicate that their finds are mostly in
algeria as morocco is all hunted out for the most part. If there were as
many meteorite collecors as fossil collectors there would be very few
meteorites left in the worlds deserts right now. But fossils are still
If there ever becomes a million meteorite collectors world wide you wont see
to many new finds after a few years. Tens of millions of fossil collectors
for the last 100 years have made very little effect on the worlds supply of
By the time the worlds current fossils get hunted out there will be more 300
million year old fossils to find.
That cant be said for meteorites. we are in a time right now where there are
few collectors worldwide and search techniques have gotten very effective.
As a result meteorites a really cheap right now as there is a glut on the
market. Dont think that its going to last. The supply of meteorites is very
exhaustible. Prices have droped as much as 90% in the past two years all
because of tons of desert finds. When that desert supply dries up in a few
years there will probably be 10 times or more as many meteorite collectors
as there are now. Your grade four math should tell you what will happen to
prices when that happens.
In 50 years time there will still be 100 times as many fossil collectors as
meteorite collectors. And you will still be able to buy a nice trilobite for
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.
Received on Sat 27 Jan 2001 11:58:11 PM PST