Maine Mineral & Gem Museum – Bethel, Maine - Atlas Obscura

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Maine Mineral & Gem Museum

A showcase of geologic history is home to one of the largest collection of lunar meteorites on Earth.  


The town of Bethel, Maine with a population of under 3,000 is home to the unassuming, yet nevertheless, stunning Maine Mineral & Gem Museum (MMGM), which opened in 2019. The main exhibit hall takes a local approach to geology, with the official Maine state mineral, tourmaline, on display along with other locally-sourced minerals such as amethyst, beryl, quartz, and many others.

The MMGM also showcases a geological history of Maine, including the official state fossil, Petrica quadrifaria, believed to be one of the largest terrestrial plants of the Devonian period. The display also includes a collection of local minerals, fossils, and petrified wood from the pre-Cambrian era, through the Mesozoic era and Quaternary period.

Perhaps most notably, the small museum is home to both the largest piece of the moon ever to fall to Earth and one of the largest collections of lunar meteorites in the world. The largest known piece of the Vesta asteroid and the oldest igneous rock ever discovered in the solar system, are just a few other highlights of this world-class meteorite collection.

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