Dutch Language Blog

Lost & Found: A meteorite? Posted by on Aug 23, 2014 in Culture, Dutch Vocabulary, News

What happened?

Last Monday night, some burglars seemed to be quite confused. They stole a very important meteoriet (meteorite) from the Dutch sterrenwacht (observatory) and museum Sonnenborgh, which was found in 1925. However, they did not seem to know that the brandkast (safe) they stole contained the 2-inch stone. The museum director Bas Nugteren said they were looking for money, but that they could not have found much in his building. According to him, it was an accident that they stole the stones.

Een meteoriet (Image by Pieter VanderLinden at Flickr.com)

Unfortunately, the meteorite was broken, but found back yesterday, on Friday morning. Two tennis players were looking for their tennis ball when they found the stones in de bosjes (in the bushes) in a plastic bag. They handed them over to the politie (police). On the news, Mr. Nugteren had asked the dieven (thieves) to return the stones, as they do not have any market value, but are cultural and historical items without a price. And so they did on Friday.

Meteorites in the Netherlands

Maybe you are surprised that meteorites have fallen in a small country like the Netherlands, but I can assure you: they have! In fact, many were never found. There are just too many woods where they could have landed. Five, however, were discovered. One of them is this one, the Ellemeet, found in 1925. The others:

1840 – one found close to Uden.

1843 – one found close to Utrecht.

1873 – one found close to Diepenveen.

1925 – the Ellemeet found close to Ellemeet.

1990 – Glanerburg-meteoriet found close to Glanerburg.

It is estimated that the Ellemeet is 4.6 billion years old! So it is fortunate it was found back, but a shame it is broken now… However, it is still large enough and interesting enough to be displayed in the museum. A big relief for the Netherlands!

A video about the news can be found here (hopefully it is available in your country!):



Vocabulary on meteorites and space:

meteoriet – meteorite

de ruimte – space

het heelal – the universe

de ster – the star

sterrenwacht – observatory

donker – dark

de hemel – sky/heaven

de lucht – air/sky

vallen – to fall

vallende ster – shooting star




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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.