Streams, Rivers, Lakes

If you found it in a stream bed, along a river, or any other place where there are lots of rocks and water, then it is almost certainly not a meteorite

Why? (1) Most meteorites are not stable in water. The metal will have rusted and the stone will have broken apart. (2) A meteorite in a stream bed would have had hits fusion crust worn off by abrasion against other rocks. There would be no way to identify it as a meteorite unless rusty metal was evident. You are not gong to find a meteorite in a river or stream. Experienced meteorite hunters do not look for meteorites in stream beds or along beaches .


Two Exceptions

1) Some Glacial Moraines

I took the photo below in a glacial moraine in Antarctica known as “Meteorite Moraine.” This is a very special place, and hard to get to. There is at least one meteorite in the photo. Click here if you cannot find it. I am unaware of any stony meteorites having been found in glacial moraines of Europe, North America, or South America, although a couple of those from Greenland may have been from moraines.

2) Desert Pavement

Some deserts are good places to look for meteorites; others are not. Many deserts are paved with stones (alluvium) that have weathered off the surrounding mountains. Many meteorites have been found on desert pavements, but not many in North America. 

A meteorite on a desert pavement in Libya. By far, most hot-desert meteorites are from northern Africa. This one has a fusion crust.
A desert pavement in Morocco. The person who sent me the photo said that the big rocks is a meteorite. It might be, but I cannot say for sure from the photo.
Lunar meteorite Dhofar 1084 perched on the desert pavement of Oman. Most lunar meteorites from Oman have lost their fusion crusts from ablation by wind-blow sand and small gravel. Dhofar 1084 has been on Earth for over 100,000 years, plenty of time to lose its fusion crust! Image credit: Siegfried Haberer
A meteorite on desert pavement in Northern Africa.