In the Bond movie "Spectre", there is a scene with a large meteorite on a stand:

Karenhoff meteorite

Is this meteorite real, or is it based on a real meteorite? Are there actually any meteorites this large and perfect?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ i am not able to find any meteorite with the name karenhoff but it do look like this one on the top of the page sciencealert.com/…. $\endgroup$ – trond hansen Mar 13 '18 at 5:58
  • $\begingroup$ @trondhansen he did say it was from a movie... So it might not be real. $\endgroup$ – Eevee Mar 13 '18 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ The meteor crater in the movie wasn't a real crater (that's easily googled).and the line about it being the "oldest meteorite" on Earth was pure nonsense. That said, it looks like it could be a real Iron meteorite but I'm skeptical, especially by the way it's displayed. 3 bars from a light source apparently drilled into it?? Iron is heavy and it's near perfect egg shape. Based on the stand I'm going to say prop. It's a realistic looking prop, but a meteor like that would be valuable (and heavy), Nobody would drill 3 holes in it's bottom and put it on that kind of display if it was real. $\endgroup$ – userLTK Mar 13 '18 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Eevee my point was only it do have a similar look,so it might be modelled after the original williamette meteor as is mentioned in the answer below. $\endgroup$ – trond hansen Mar 13 '18 at 20:50

The story told in the movie about the meteorite is fictional. Here is a quote:

The Kartenhoff, the oldest in human possession. The very meteorite which made this crater.

The Kartenhoff is a fictional meteorite (I found few sources about the movie saying so, this is the most comprehensive one). It is not the oldest known to humans, and it didn't make the crater shown in the movie. That crater is in fact the Gara Medouar, a crater-like formation created by erosion NOT a meteorite (here more info about it). This link will take you to a view of it on Google Maps.

All the above make me think that the object shown in the movie is not a real meteorite (maybe not even a real object and just crated digitally), however it is definitely inspired in a real one. As it have the color of an iron meteorite and its characteristic regmaglypts (indentations on the surface of a meteorite created by ablation while falling through the atmosphere). As mention by Trond Hansen in the comments, perhaps ir was inspired by the Willamette Meteorite. With 15 ton in weight, it is much larger than the one on the movie (it is 3x2 m) but have a remarkably similar shape and general aspect. enter image description here (Picture from Wikipedia commons, originally here)

In terms of shape, iron meteorites (that are a small fraction of all existing meteorites), tend to have very irregular shapes. Therefore, to find one as "perfect" as the one in the movie is unlikely, but not imposible. A Google Images search for iron meteorite, would show you in a glimpse the vast diversity of shapes, been generally irregular.

Now when it comes to size, they can be much larger than that. Some examples are the "El Chaco" meteorite found in Campo del Cielo, Argentina, weighting 37 ton. enter image description here

(image taken from DESTINO INFINITO)

Or the largest iron meteorite know, the Hoba meteorite, with 66 tons. enter image description here

(image taken from TripAdvisor and submitted by user huys25)

The reason we found meteorites up to about that size only, is because they are small enough to suffer a significant slow-down when falling though the atmosphere. Larger meteorites hit the surface so fast that the energy released vaporize the meteorite, so only the crater is left with no traces of the impacting body.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.