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Science & Technology

Fresh doubts cast on Tunguska impact theory

January 21, 2017 | Comment icon 22 comments

The explosion caused large amounts of damage. Image Credit: PD - Leonid Kulik
Russian scientists have found evidence to suggest that the impact crater may predate the event itself.
Few natural disasters in the 20th century have generated as much discussion and debate as the massive explosion that occurred in Tunguska, Siberia 109 years ago - an event so destructive that it managed to flatten more than 80 million trees over a 2,000-square-kilometer area.

Scientists generally agree that the most likely cause of the explosion was a comet or asteroid however a distinct lack of physical evidence over the years save for a few traces of meteoric fragments has made it difficult to know for sure exactly what happened.

Now though, a team of Russian scientists from Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk have cast further doubt on the impact theory by analyzing sediment samples from Lake Cheko - a body of water that is believed to have formed within the impact crater left behind at the site of the Tunguska event.
It had been generally believed that the lake had not existed at all prior to 1908, but when the team took a closer look at the samples they found that it was actually much older than that.

"The study showed that the deepest sample is about 280 years old, which means that the lake is probably even older, because the researchers did not manage to obtain samples from the very bottom," The Russian Geographical Society wrote in a press release.

"Nevertheless, this proves that Lake Cheko is much older than the Tunguska event and is not an impact crater of a supposed Tunguska meteorite impact."

So if the Tunguska event was not caused by an impact from space, what could it have been ?

Source: | Comments (22)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by Parsec 5 years ago
Clearly secret nazy nukes.  They had to experiment somewhere remote and out of sight.    Heck, it was so secret that they started experimenting two decades before they even existed! 
Comment icon #14 Posted by Yamato 5 years ago
Flattened 770 square miles of forest.   and Lake Cheko: I can measure this lake in trees with my bare eyes.  It's nowhere even close to 770 trees across.   It's a lot smaller than I thought it would be based on how important it was being made up to be in this mystery. So that we learn this isn't the epicenter of an impact, that I'm sorry to say contributes nothing to disproving impact theory.   However if there's meteorite fragments in unusually high amounts all over the once-flattened area, that's pudding.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Mr.United_Nations 5 years ago
What makes it think it was a nuke?
Comment icon #16 Posted by DieChecker 5 years ago
Wasn't there a Mythbusters episode where they exactly (to scale anyway) duplicated the tree fall of the explosion with an air burst explosion. I tend to agree this does not dismiss that there was a explosion, only that the lake wasn't created at that time.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Four Winds 5 years ago
 I thought the leading theory was, as others have posted, the object never reached the ground but exploded in the atmosphere. This new research just supports that theory.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Parsec 5 years ago
A bad joke evidently.
Comment icon #19 Posted by brlesq1 5 years ago
I thought it was the mid-air explosion theory, too. Either that, or some giant alien farted. 
Comment icon #20 Posted by No thing 5 years ago
I read somewhere that this event corresponded with one of Tesla's experiments where he was trying to transmit some form of electricity through the atmosphere. More than likely not, since TPTB would have used it as a weapon by now...
Comment icon #21 Posted by MWoo7 5 years ago
I'm sure others could post more.  There's no shortage of articles on it and Eyewitnesses so the underground geology thing is probably not too likely. Eyewitness after eyewitness but I don't read Cyrillic.  I'm sure there's plenty, just hasn't all made it to the net yet. Just One source of Eyewitness Accounts " Sun, moving across the sky. About 10 minutes later, there was a flash and a loud "knocking" sound similar to artillery fire that went in short bursts spaced increasingly wider apart. Eyewitnesses closer to the explosion reported the sound source moving during each barrage, east to north.... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by skookum 5 years ago
I followed this with fascination for many years.  I always thought that the greatest puzzle was the lack of a crater. If I recall they drained swamps and all sorts and never found a thing.  Then Russian scientists experimented with small scale air bursts which  seemed to replicate perfectly small scale. When was this lake considered a cert for the impact crater.  I missed that bit. 

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