NASA scientists electrified the
world in August, 1996 when they announced the discovery of a fossiliferous stone meteorite from Mars. The fossils, visible only with a scanning electron
microscope, were of microorganisms resembling bacteria or yeast cells,
similar to those found on Earth. The Antarctic meteorite, known as Alan
Hills 84001, was dated at 3.5 billion years, and was apparently formed
during the early stages of Mars' development when the planet had free liquid
water on its surface.
As news of this evidence of life on another planet rocketed around
the world, phones at Robert Haag Meteorites started ringing off the hook. Scientists and collectors from all over
were seeking other kinds of Mars rock, such as Zagami, for investment and
Alan Hills 84001, obviously one of a kind, so far, is just one of
a few Mars rocks that have already been found on Earth. Others belong to
the extremely rare group of meteorites classified as belonging to the SNC
group (pronounced "snick"). The acronym stands for the initials
of the first three known falls of Martian material, namely Shergotty, India;
Nakhla, Egypt; and Chassigny, France.