Minnesota, US: A farmer has discovered a rare meteorite that is likely to be billions of years old.

Bruce Lillenthal, from Arlington, Minnesota, originally found the rock two years ago but didn’t realise what he had stumbled upon until he took it to the curator of meteorites at the University of Minnesota.

Along with his wife, Nelva, the farmer had been collecting unique boulders from his fields.

‘We didn’t’ know what it was at first. [There was] just part of it sticking out of the ground,’ he said. ‘We had our hunches that it was a meteorite.’

When curiosity got the best of the couple they decided to go and see meteorite specialist Calvin Alexander. He confirmed it was a meteorite and added it could be billions of years old.

The professor said he had previously inspected 5,000 rocks over the years that had turned out not to be meteorites.

Mrs Lilienthal added: ‘It is unusual and unique and I’m beginning to like it more and more.’–MO