Throughout history, scientists claimed that a meteoroid can never kill a single individual. But recent studies show a very different outcome. Because researchers finally have found details about someone who was killed by a falling meteorite.
Recent studies suggest to date almost 132 years back to 22 August 1888, as seen in the official documents. The documents found in General Directorate of State Archives of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey briefly describe a falling meteorite. It says that the meteoroid hit and killed one man. It also grievously injured and paralyzed another. This incident took place in Sulaymaniyah in Iraq.
This entire incident proves the first-ever case of death by a meteorite strike. It also provides hints to more such events that may have taken place out there. One is to remember that these are all written archives and not digital data. It is no more possible to think of Earth as an unassailable fortress. Our planet is under the threat of consecutive bombarding of space rocks for centuries now. Millions of meteors per day enter our atmosphere. But fortunately for us, not many of them survive atmospheric pressure.
But meteors sometimes enter the atmosphere and lay along with its destruction debris on the surface of the planet. NASA’s fireball database shows a record of 800 such meteoroids which explodes in the atmosphere since 1988. All of them produce meteorite debris. And research shows up to 17 meteoroids have the potential to hit Earth’s surface every day.
Meteoroid report of 1888!
The researchers found three separate documents describing the incident. They had only been recently transferred to a digital archive. And it was penned in Ottoman Turkish language, a language difficult to translate. This explains why it never uncovered before.
The proof consists of letters written by local authorities reporting the incident to the government. On August 10 of the Julian calendar (August 22 on the Gregorian calendar), the letters report, at about 8:30 pm in the evening local time, a large fireball seen in the sky.
After this event, meteorites fell “like rain” from the sky for a period of about 10 minutes on a small village, resulting in the death of one unnamed man, and the paralytic injury of another. In addition, damage to crops was reported – which is consistent with a fireball shockwave.
This concludes the fact that in reality, a meteoroid can actually kill a man both directly and indirectly.
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.