The 25 Largest Meteorites Ever Found

The stories of the largest meteorites ever found are as vast and varied as the cosmos from which they originate. These celestial giants, having journeyed across the solar system, offer us a rare glimpse into the mysteries of space. 

In this article, we’ll look through the remarkable tales of these extraordinary space visitors. From the renowned Hoba to the intriguing Campo del Cielo, each meteorite not only contributes to our scientific understanding of the universe but also captures the imagination with its sheer scale and historical significance. 

Let’s dive in. Here are the 25 biggest meteorites ever found on Earth:

1. The Hoba Meteorite: 132,277.36 Pounds

Hoba meteorite

The Hoba meteorite, discovered in 1920 near Grootfontein, Namibia, is renowned as the largest meteorite on Earth. 

This colossal space rock, weighing about 60 tons, is composed mainly of iron and nickel. Its enormous mass, coupled with a high iron content, has kept it anchored in the same location where it was found. 

Interestingly, the Hoba meteorite exhibits minimal signs of atmospheric entry burning or deep impact crater creation, suggesting a low-angle approach and slow descent to Earth. 

This meteorite has become a major tourist attraction, and its unique characteristics continue to intrigue scientists and space enthusiasts alike, offering insights into the composition and journey of celestial bodies through our solar system.

Learn more about the Hoba meteorite.

2. The Cape York Meteorite: 128,309.04 Pounds

The Cape York meteorite is one of the most significant meteorites known, primarily for its historical impact on the Inuit communities of Greenland. Discovered in 1894, this meteorite is composed of an iron mass and is famed for its large size, with the largest fragment, “Ahnighito,” weighing over 31 tons. 

It is believed to have fallen in Greenland thousands of years ago. The meteorite played a pivotal role in the survival of the Inuit people, who used its iron for tools and hunting equipment long before the arrival of Europeans. 

The discovery of the Cape York meteorite by Western explorers led to a greater understanding of meteoritic iron and its uses in early human societies, bridging a gap between ancient practices and modern scientific discovery.

Learn more about the Cape York meteorite.

3. The Campo del Cielo Meteorite: 110,231.13 Pounds

The Campo del Cielo meteorite field, located in Argentina, is a site of significant meteoritic importance. This field consists of a group of iron meteorites believed to have fallen in a meteor shower approximately 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. 

The first record of Campo del Cielo meteorites dates back to 1576, but indigenous peoples were likely aware of these iron masses long before. These meteorites vary in size, with the largest named “El Chaco,” weighing an impressive 37 tons. 

The Campo del Cielo site has been extensively studied due to its large number of fragments and the insights it offers into the history and composition of meteorites, making it a key location for both scientific research and public fascination.

Learn more about the Campo del Cielo meteorite.

4. The Canyon Diablo Meteorite: 66,138.68 Pounds

The Canyon Diablo meteorite is famous for its association with the Meteor Crater in Arizona, USA. About 50,000 years ago, this iron meteorite, part of a larger meteoroid, violently impacted Earth, resulting in the well-known crater. 

The fragments of the Canyon Diablo meteorite are primarily composed of iron and nickel, and they have been extensively studied for insights into the early solar system. This meteorite is particularly notable for its role in understanding impact craters on Earth and other planets. 

The discovery and analysis of the Canyon Diablo meteorite have greatly contributed to the field of meteoritics, particularly in understanding the effects of high-velocity impacts on planetary surfaces.

Learn more about the Canyon Diablo meteorite.

5. The Armanty Meteorite: 61,729.43 Pounds

The Armanty meteorite, found in the Xinjiang region of China, is a notable iron meteorite. Discovered in 1898, it is one of the largest meteorites found in Asia, with a weight of approximately 28 tons. 

Composed predominantly of iron with traces of nickel and other minerals, the Armanty meteorite is a significant subject of study due to its composition and the insights it offers into the formation and differentiation of celestial bodies. 

Despite its remote location, the meteorite has attracted attention from scientists and enthusiasts alike, who are keen to understand its origin and journey through space. The Armanty meteorite’s large size and unique characteristics make it a remarkable example of the diverse nature of meteoritic bodies in our solar system.

Learn more about the Armanty meteorite.

6. The Gibeon Meteorite: 57,320.19 Pounds

The Gibeon meteorite, discovered in 1836 in Namibia, is a fantastic example of an iron meteorite. It is particularly known for its distinctive Widmanstätten patterns, which are unique crystalline structures visible when the meteorite is cut, polished, and etched. 

These patterns not only contribute to its aesthetic appeal but also offer valuable scientific information about the slow cooling processes that occurred within the parent body’s core, likely over billions of years. 

The Gibeon meteorite fragments vary in size, with thousands of pieces found scattered over a wide area in Namibia, indicating a significant fragmentation event upon atmospheric entry. Their high iron-nickel content makes them highly resistant to weathering, allowing many pieces to be recovered in good condition. 

This meteorite is also notable for its cultural and historical significance, as indigenous people used its metal for tools and weapons before modern scientific discovery.

Learn more about the Gibeon meteorite.

7. The Chupaderos Meteorite: 53,572.33 Pounds

The Chupaderos meteorite, found in Chihuahua, Mexico, is a notable example of a stony-iron meteorite, specifically a mesosiderite. This type of meteorite is fascinating thanks to its mixed composition of metallic iron and silicate minerals, suggesting a complex history of formation involving both metallic and rocky material. 

The Chupaderos meteorite is important for understanding the processes that occur at the boundary between the metallic core and silicate mantle of differentiated celestial bodies. 

The mesosiderite class is relatively rare, making Chupaderos an important specimen for meteoritical studies. It provides key insights into the early solar system’s history and the collisions and accretion processes that formed the planets.

Learn more about the Chupaderos meteorite.

8. The Mundrabilla Meteorite: 52,910.94 Pounds

The Mundrabilla meteorite, one of the largest ever found, was discovered in 1911 in the Nullarbor Plain of Australia. Composed predominantly of iron with some nickel, it is classified as an iron meteorite and is known for its large size and fragmented nature. 

The largest pieces of the Mundrabilla meteorite are impressive, with the two largest fragments weighing several tons each. 

The meteorite is believed to have fallen in a meteor shower that scattered large amounts of material over a wide area. The Mundrabilla meteorite is significant not only for its size but also for its contribution to the understanding of the distribution and frequency of meteoritic impacts on Earth, as well as the composition and structure of large iron meteorites.

Learn more about the Mundrabilla meteorite.

9. The Sikhote-Alin Meteorite: 50,706.32 Pounds

The Sikhote-Alin meteorite is famous for its spectacular fall in Russia in 1947, which was one of the most witnessed meteorite falls in history, creating a fireball and numerous sonic booms as it broke up in the atmosphere. 

This iron meteorite is known for its sculptural shapes caused by the fragmentation and ablation during its fiery descent. Sikhote-Alin is classified as an octahedrite, a type of iron meteorite with a medium nickel content that forms a characteristic Widmanstätten pattern. 

The fragments vary from small, shrapnel-like pieces to larger, more intact specimens with regmaglypts (thumbprint-like depressions). 

The Sikhote-Alin meteorite is not only a scientific treasure, offering insights into the nature of meteorite atmospheric entry and breakup, but also a popular collectible due to its aesthetic and historical significance.

Learn more about the Sikhote-Alin meteorite.

10. The Bacubirito Meteorite: 48,501.70 Pounds

The Bacubirito meteorite, found in Sinaloa, Mexico, is known for being one of the largest single meteorite masses ever found. Discovered in the late 19th century, it is an iron meteorite, primarily composed of iron with some nickel. 

Weighing several tons, its massive size and elongated shape make it a remarkable example of an iron meteorite. 

The Bacubirito meteorite has contributed to our understanding of the composition and structure of large iron meteorites. Its discovery has also played a role in the study of meteoritic impacts and the geological history of meteorite falls on Earth. 

Due to its size and uniqueness, the Bacubirito meteorite has gained a notable place in both scientific study and public display.

Learn more about the Bacubirito meteorite.

11. The Mbosi Meteorite: 35,273.96 Pounds

The Mbosi meteorite is a lesser-known but intriguing meteorite discovered in Tanzania. Unlike many other famous meteorites, the Mbosi meteorite has not been extensively studied, leading to some uncertainty about its classification and origin. 

What makes the Mbosi meteorite particularly interesting is its cultural significance. Local legends and beliefs often surround meteorites in various cultures, and the Mbosi meteorite is no exception. It has been a part of local folklore and spiritual beliefs, sometimes being interpreted as a message or gift from the gods. 

Such cultural aspects provide an additional layer of interest beyond the scientific study of meteorites, illustrating the intersection of astronomy, geology, and anthropology.

Learn more about the Mbosi meteorite.

12. The Willamette Meteorite: 34,171.65 Pounds

The Willamette meteorite is the largest meteorite ever found in North America and one of the biggest meteorites in the world. Discovered in Oregon, USA, it is an iron-nickel meteorite classified as a medium octahedrite. 

The Willamette meteorite is renowned for its large size, weighing over 15 tons, and its distinctive shape with deep cavities and regmaglypts. These features are thought to have been created during its fiery descent through the Earth’s atmosphere. 

The meteorite is also significant for its cultural history. It holds spiritual importance for the indigenous Clackamas people of the Willamette Valley, who regard it as a sacred object. 

Today, the Willamette meteorite is housed in the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where it continues to be a subject of scientific research and public fascination.

Learn more about the Willamette meteorite.

13. The Morito Meteorite: 22,266.69 Pounds

The Morito meteorite, found in Chihuahua, Mexico, is a notable pallasite, a type of stony-iron meteorite. Pallasites are characterized by their stunning olivine crystals embedded in a metallic matrix, making them not only scientifically valuable but also aesthetically appealing. 

The Morito meteorite is particularly interesting for its olivine content, which provides crucial insights into the formation and differentiation processes of celestial bodies in the solar system. These meteorites are believed to originate from the boundary between the core and mantle of differentiated asteroids, making them key to understanding planetary formation and evolution. 

The Morito meteorite serves as an important example of the diverse and complex nature of meteoritic material found on Earth.

Learn more about the Morito meteorite.

14. The Nantan Meteorite: 20,943.91 Pounds

The Nantan meteorite, which fell in 1516 in Guangxi, China, is significant for its historical and scientific value. Classified as an iron meteorite, Nantan is composed predominantly of iron and nickel, with its fall documented in Chinese historical records. 

The meteorite is known for its resistance to weathering, despite the humid climate of the region where it fell. This resilience has allowed for the recovery of many fragments in relatively good condition, making it a valuable subject of study for understanding the composition and characteristics of iron meteorites. 

The Nantan meteorite also provides a rare opportunity to connect historical accounts with modern scientific analysis, bridging the gap between ancient observations and contemporary meteoritic research.

Learn more about the Nantan meteorite.

15. The Cranbourne Meteorite: 18,959.75 Pounds

The Cranbourne meteorite, found in Victoria, Australia, is famous for its history and the number of large fragments recovered. These iron meteorites, discovered in the 19th century, have been significant in the study of meteorites in Australia. 

The largest fragment, known as the Cranbourne No. 1, weighed around 3.5 tons and is one of the biggest meteorites ever found. The meteorites are thought to have originated from a single fall, but the lack of an impact crater suggests they may have been transported from their original fall site. 

The Cranbourne meteorites have not only contributed to the scientific understanding of iron meteorites but also played a role in the cultural and historical context of the area, being some of the first meteorites studied in Australia and sparking public interest in meteoritics.

Learn more about the Cranbourne meteorite.

16. The Santa Catharina Meteorite: 15,432.36 Pounds

The Santa Catharina meteorite, found in Brazil, is notable for its unique mineralogical composition, distinguishing it from typical iron meteorites. Classified as an ataxite, it contains a high nickel content, resulting in a lack of the usual crystalline structures (Widmanstätten patterns) found in most iron meteorites. 

Discovered in the 19th century, the Santa Catharina meteorite is intriguing to scientists because of its rare composition, which provides valuable clues about the diversity of metallic cores in celestial bodies. 

This meteorite has contributed significantly to the study of meteorites, aiding in understanding the formation and evolution of different types of meteorites in the solar system.

Learn more about the Santa Catharina meteorite.

17. The Bendegó Meteorite: 11,816.78 Pounds

The Bendegó meteorite is one of the largest meteorites ever found in Brazil. Discovered in 1784 in the state of Bahia, it is an iron meteorite classified as a medium octahedrite. 

The Bendegó meteorite is known for its large size, weighing over 5 tons, and has become a symbol of Brazilian natural history. 

Despite being exposed to a fire in the National Museum of Brazil in 2018, it survived with minimal damage, showing just how robust it is. 

The meteorite is significant for its scientific value in the study of iron meteorites and for its historical and cultural importance in Brazil, having been a part of the country’s natural history collections for over a century.

Learn more about the Bendegó meteorite.

18. The Brenham Meteorite: 9,479.88 Pounds

The Brenham meteorite, found in Kansas, USA, is particularly famous for being a pallasite, a type of stony-iron meteorite. Pallasites are characterized by their beautiful olivine crystals embedded in an iron-nickel matrix, offering a glimpse into the boundary between the mantle and core of differentiated celestial bodies. 

The Brenham meteorite is notable for the large size of some of its fragments and the significant quantity of meteoritic material recovered from the area. 

It has been a subject of extensive study and is prized both by collectors for its aesthetic appeal and by scientists for the insights it provides into the early solar system’s formation and evolution.

Learn more about the Brenham meteorite.

19. The Jilin Meteorite: 8,818.49 Pounds

The Jilin meteorite, which fell in 1976 in Jilin Province, China, is one of the largest meteor showers of stony meteorites ever recorded. This event resulted in thousands of fragments being scattered over a large area, with the largest piece weighing over 1,770 kilograms. 

The Jilin meteorite is classified as an H5 chondrite, characterized by a high iron content. The meteorite’s fall was accompanied by a bright fireball and explosion, creating a significant impact on the local community and drawing widespread attention. 

The Jilin meteorite provides a large amount of material for research on the composition and characteristics of chondritic meteorites, offering insights into the early solar system’s history.

Learn more about the Jilin meteorite.

20. The Vaca Muerta Meteorite: 8,439.30 Pounds

The Vaca Muerta meteorite, found in the Atacama Desert of Chile, is an interesting and important meteoritic find. Its name, meaning “Dead Cow” in Spanish, refers to the area where it was found. 

The Vaca Muerta meteorite is a mesosiderite, a type of stony-iron meteorite, which is a mixture of metallic iron and silicate minerals. This particular type of meteorite is rare and offers valuable insight into the processes that occur at the boundary between the core and mantle of differentiated celestial bodies. 

The Vaca Muerta meteorite field is significant due to the large number of fragments found scattered over a wide area, providing a rich source of material for scientific study and contributing to our understanding of the formation and evolution of the solar system.

Learn more about the Vaca Muerta meteorite.

21. The Youndegin Meteorite: 8,377.57 Pounds

The Youndegin meteorite, discovered in 1884 near Youndegin, Western Australia, is an iron meteorite known for its historical significance as one of the oldest recognized meteorites in Australia. 

Classified as an IAB complex octahedrite, it contains a mixture of iron and nickel, with a coarse Widmanstätten pattern characteristic of this group. The meteorite’s discovery contributed to the early understanding of meteoritics in Australia. 

Despite its weathered exterior, indicative of a long terrestrial age, the Youndegin meteorite remains an important specimen for studying the characteristics and composition of iron meteorites, as well as for understanding the history of meteoritic falls in the region.

Learn more about the Youndegin meteorite.

22. The Al Haggounia 001 Meteorite: 6,613.87 Pounds

The Al Haggounia 001 meteorite is unique for being a rare type of meteorite known as an EL chondrite, which belongs to the enstatite chondrite group. Discovered in Western Sahara, this meteorite is notable for its low iron content and high levels of the mineral enstatite. 

Enstatite chondrites like Al Haggounia 001 are believed to have formed in extremely reduced oxygen conditions, providing insights into the early solar system’s environment. 

This meteorite is also significant for its large size and the amount of material available, which has made it a valuable subject for extensive scientific study. Its study contributes to the understanding of the diversity of materials in the early solar system and the processes that led to the formation of planets.

Learn more about the Al Haggounia 001 meteorite.

23. The Toluca Meteorite: 6,613.87 Pounds

The Toluca meteorite, found in Mexico, is known for being one of the most abundant iron meteorites available. Classified as an octahedrite, it is composed mainly of iron and nickel, with a well-defined Widmanstätten pattern. 

The Toluca meteorite has been widely studied due to its accessibility and abundance, making it a classic example in meteorite research. 

Its large fragments and considerable total mass have allowed for detailed analysis of its structure and composition, offering valuable insights into the nature of iron meteorites and the processes involved in the formation and cooling of metallic cores in celestial bodies.

Learn more about the Toluca meteorite.

24. The Xifu Meteorite: 6,613.87 Pounds

The Xifu meteorite is a lesser-known meteorite and specific details about its classification or discovery may not be widely documented in mainstream scientific literature. 

Meteorites like Xifu are often discovered in remote or less accessible regions, making their study and classification a challenge. They can provide valuable scientific data, contributing to the understanding of the composition and history of the solar system. 

Meteorites such as Xifu, even if not as extensively studied as others, are important pieces of the larger puzzle in unraveling the mysteries of the universe and understanding the processes that led to the formation of our planet and others.

Learn more about the Xifu meteorite.

25. The Yingde Meteorite: 6,613.87 Pounds

The Yingde meteorite, similar to Xifu, appears to be a less commonly referenced meteorite, and specific details about it may not be readily available in major scientific databases or literature. 

Meteorites like Yingde, which may not be as well-known or extensively studied, still hold significant scientific value. They contribute to the growing collection of meteoritic samples that scientists use to understand the diverse types of materials present in the solar system. 

Each meteorite, regardless of its fame or whether it’s one of the largest meteorites ever found, provides unique information about the conditions in the early solar system, the formation of planets, and the processes that shape celestial bodies.

Learn more about the Yingde meteorite.