Meteor crater
Ancient meteorite from 50,000 year old crater sold off at record-breaking value Nasa

A rare four billion-year-old meteorite which crash-landed on Earth about 50,000 years ago has been sold off at a record-breaking value.

Alien rocks being auctioned is pretty common but this ancient rock, dubbed Canyon Diablos, was sold for a whopping $237,500 (£169,148), thanks to its aesthetic appearance and unique composition. The price, as CNBC reports, is not only the highest for the selling store but is also the best value for a rock of this kind.

The 70-pound meteorite looks like an ellipsoid cosmic sculpture with "numerous sockets and perforations," Christie's online portal which sold the meteorite said. It is largely made up of iron, a characteristic found in only 2% of all known space rocks.

"Wrapped in a gunmetal patina with splashes of cinnamon and platinum-hued accents, this is among the most aesthetic iron meteorites known," the auction site noted. It even described the whole thing as being evocative of Henry Moore's artistic works.

Originally, the rare rock was part of a molten iron core of an asteroid which broke apart and crashed in an Arizona desert with a force of 100 atomic bombs. The resulting impact created a one-mile-wide and 600ft-deep "Meteor Crater", the Barringer Crater — one of the most famous impact craters in the world.

Though most of the crashed mass vaporised over tens of thousands of years, the left-over iron fragments from the site came to be known as Canyon Diablos or "Canyon of the Devil" meteorites and became a prized collection for many museums.

The unique perforations on the ancient rock make it unique but these antique features were not there when the fragments were formed. The rock had small amounts of graphite, which ejected and carved the holes. Over ensuing hundreds of years, the features came in contact with Earthly conditions and became more evident.

More than 80% of the meteorites up for grabs were sold at the online auction but no cosmic rock could catch up with Canyon Diablos. "A few years from now, it's going to be worth twice as much," the meteorite's former owner Darryl Pitt told CNBC.