Not on the Beach

Meteorites are not found on beaches

If it is a rock and you found it on the beach, then it is not a meteorite. Or, if it is, nobody can identify it as a meteorite just by looking at it. If a stony meteorite landed in the water and later washed up on a beach it would have lost its fusion crust and regmaglypts as a result of abrasion against other rocks and sand by wave action. If it were an ordinary chondrite, it would likely have broken apart from rusting of the metal, particularly if it landed in salt water. If it survived as a rock, it would be all but impossible to identify as a meteorite just “by looking.” It would not look at all special, except maybe for some rusty spots. But, who knows?  Stony meteorites do land in the water but nobody has ever found and recognized one on the beach! It would require chemical or petrographic tests to prove that such a rock were a meteorite.

“Fossil meteorites” have been found in sedimentary rocks that formed at the bottom of a sea or ocean.


Left: Southampton, Ontario, Canada. Right: Havre de Gaspé and Baie des Penoille, Quebec, Canada.

I am aware of only two meteorites, Southampton (pallasite, find, 2001, 3.58 kg) and Penouille (iron, IAB complex, find, 1984, 72.5 g), that were found on a beach. Neither is a stony meteorite. More info on Southampton and Penouille.