BEIJING, February 26 (RIA Novosti) - Stone fragments claimed by sellers to be parts of the meteorite that struck Russia’s Urals region earlier this month were being auctioned on China’s largest e-commerce portal Taobao on Tuesday, at prices ranging between 8,600 and 100,000 yuan (from $1,370 to $16,000).
“I am advertising the sale of a meteorite fragment weighting approximately 10 grams at the request of my friend in Russia, the fragment itself is also in Russia,” a seller said. “Of course, you may consider it a fake, but my shop gives no additional explanations.”
He also claims “wearing a stone from the sky cures depression.”
Another seller, from the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning, claims his meteorite fragment is a “perfect wedding present.” “Are you planning to propose? Offer a fragment of a meteorite and success is guaranteed,” he says.
No purchases have been made so far, according to the Taobao website.
Alleged fragments of the meteorite have also been offered on online auction and shopping website eBay. A dozen auctions have already taken place on the site, with prices ranging between $19 and $699. More than 20 auctions are still running. However, no meteorite fragment offers have been placed on the Russian online auction, Molotok.
Russian scientists have requested the Federal Customs Service and the Federal Border Service to prevent fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite from being taken out of Russia, Erik Galimov, the head of Russia’s Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, said earlier on Tuesday.
The meteorite streaked across the sky and slammed into central Russia on February 15 with a massive boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, injuring more than 1,500 people in the area.
On Monday, scientists from Russia's Urals Federal University discovered a meteorite fragment weighing more than one kilogram (2.2 lbs), the largest found so far from the meteorite strike.
Four days after the meteorite blast, police in the Chelyabinsk Region confiscated an unidentified substance from a local man who was trying to sell it as a “meteorite fragment.”