Massive Meteorite Pulled From Argentina Hole

The Campo del Cielo meteor shower fell over 4,000 years ago, now one of the largest chunks has been dredged from the dirt.

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A massive iron meteorite has been pulled out of its Argentine grave, after hiding underground for 4,000 years.

Discovered on Sept. 10 by Astronomy Association Chaco meteorite hunters, the so-called Gancedo meteorite is not your average chunk of space rock, it rivals the second largest meteorite ever found. Weighing-in at around 34 tons (68,000 lb or 30,800 kilograms), Gancedo is only bested by the 37 ton El Chaco meteorite that was also found in the same Campo del Cielo ("Field of Heaven") meteorite fall.* Gancedo and El Chaco are the largest fragments found so far from that historic fall.

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Gancedo is so-named after the village it was discovered near and in appreciation of the villagers who aided in the meteorite's recovery.

Though these specimens are undoubtedly giants among space rocks, the largest meteorite ever discovered is the monstrous Hoba West meteorite in Namibia, which is estimated to weigh 60 tons.

Campo del Cielo occurred around 4,000 years ago, scattering a huge number of iron-rich meteorites over a large area. So far, 26 craters have been found and around 100 tons of meteorite samples recovered. The Campo del Cielo region is around 600 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.

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In a video released online, the effort to pull the meteorite from the ground was documented. According to news coverage, after the meteorite was discovered the research team were inundated with water, so the decision was made to use heavy-lifting equipment to recover the meteorite.

*There appears to be some ambiguity as to the estimated weight of the El Chaco meteorite, with the lowest estimate placing it at 32 tons and the highest estimate placing at 37 tons. If the former is closer to its actual weight, the Gancedo meteorite is the second largest meteorite ever found.

h/t CNET.com

GALLERY: Russian Meteor Strike Aftermath:

Dozens of videos of the Russian meteor were uploaded to Youtube soon after impact on the morning of Feb. 15, 2013, many of which originated from vehicle dashboard cameras (or "dash cams"). During the morning commute many drivers saw the bright orb grow and explode in the atmosphere. The resulting shock wave caused windows to blow out over a huge area injuring over 1,000 people -- mainly cuts and minor concussions.

The fireball light was as bright as a second sun for a brief moment before it broke up over the Urals region of Russia.

As seen in this CCTV footage, the meteor created its own shadows as it exploded during the morning commute.

The meteor contrail hung over the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, about 900 miles east of Moscow, for some time after impact.

A white contrail left by the meteor break-up over Chelyabinsk.

A building damaged by the meteor shock wave in the town of Kopeisk, Chelyabinsk Region. The windows were blown out by the powerful shock wave generated by the hypersonic meteor.

Damage to a pancake bar caused by the shock wave of a meteor in the town of Kopeisk, Chelyabinsk Region.

Damaged caused to the office of a local newspaper in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk by the shock wave of the meteor.

A shopper walks past a broken shop window caused by the meteor explosion over the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.

The meteor traveled faster than sound in the upper atmosphere, creating a powerful sonic boom that slammed into the populated Urals region -- the foce of the blast blew out windows and caused structural damage to some buildings.

Damage caused by the shock wave of a meteor that passed above the Urals city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15, 2013.

Bricks from a factory wall knocked down by the force of the meteor shock wave litter a street in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.

A collection of small meteorite fragments found in the snow after the Feb. 15, 2013 airbust event.

A man holding meteorite fragments found near the Chebarkul Lake.

Detail of one of the suspected meteorite fragments recovered from Russia's Chelyabinsk region.

Replacing broken window panes destroyed by the shockwave from the meteor airburst, at Uralskaya Molniya ice rink.

Replacing broken window panes destroyed by the shockwave from the meteor airburst, at Uralskaya Molniya ice rink.

Replacing windows in the freezing Chelyabinsk region are a priority for the Russian authorities.

A woman replaces a window damaged by the shockwave of the meteorite fall in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Feb. 16, 2013.

Residents wait for a bus in a street in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Feb. 16, 2013, as life in Russia's Chelyabinsk Region returns to normal after Friday's meteor explosion.