Agoudal (Imilchil) Meteorite Story

Agoudal (Imilchil) Meteorite Story

Imilchil Meteorite.jpg

I have recently been lucky enough to acquire a piece of the Agoudal Iron meteorite that was found in December 2012 in Morocco. In fact the meteorite was discovered in 2000 and sold to tourists, but in 2011 a piece was sold to a meteorite dealer who recognised it as an iron meteorite. It has been classified as an Iron IIAB type. It contains Ni 5.5 wt%, Co 4.1 mg/g, Ga 58 μg/g, Ir < 0.04 μg/g and Au ~ 1 μg/g. The meteorite is also sold under the unofficial name of "Imilchil" and this is where the story of this meteorite gets interesting.

Imilchil Meteorite Story

Imilchil is a small town in Morocco. It is found at an altitude of 2119m. It is famous for the Betrothal Festival - the Souk Aamor Agdoud N'Oulmghenni. This festival occurs once a year and it is when people from the local tribes marry. Sometimes up to 40 people marry on this day. The history of the festival is like our own Romeo and Juliet story. It is said that two people from different tribes fell in love but were not allowed to marry. Torn with sadness they cried to death. As a result two lakes formed from their tears high in the mountains. These are the lakes Isli and Tislit. 

Lake Tislit.jpg

The interesting thing about these lakes is that scientists now think the lakes were formed when a meteorite split into two pieces, one fragment measuring 70m and the other one 50m. These meteorites created a dual impact crater that later formed the two tear shaped lakes. The scientific paper can be found here.

Whether the lakes were formed by the tears of lovers or meteorites from space the Wedding Festival has become quite a tourist attraction, but if you can't afford a trip to Morrocco here is a video on the festival.

Here is an article on how to find a meteorite.

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