Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Earliest case of 'death by meteorite' revealed

Posted on Wednesday, 29 April, 2020 | Comment icon 13 comments

You wouldn't want to be hit by one of these. Image Credit: YouTube / Central Michigan University
Researchers have discovered official records stating that a man in Iraq was killed by a meteorite back in 1888.
When it comes to unlikely ways to die, being hit by a falling meteorite must come close to the top of the list; one study published in 2014 concluded that the chances of being killed by a meteorite are around 1 in 1,600,000 - meaning that you are more than twice as likely to be struck by lightning.

According to recently unearthed records from the Turkish state archives however, such an unlikely demise actually did befall one extremely unfortunate individual over 130 years ago.

The documents describe how a meteorite fell to Earth on August 22nd, 1888 and smacked into the side of a hill in what is now modern day Sulaymaniyah, Iraq.

One man was struck and killed, while a second was also severely injured and ended up paralyzed.
The records indicate that the lethal space rock was one of several to have fallen within a ten-minute period and that witnesses in a nearby city had also seen a 'fireball' hurtling down from the sky.

The event was even said to have been reported to the sultan of the Ottoman Empire - Abdul Hamid II.

While the researchers are still seeking additional documents pertaining to the incident, it is believed that this is the earliest known record of a person being struck and killed by a meteorite.

"Almost every single event was recorded in the archives," lead author Ozan Unsalan from Istanbul University told "I mean, if you sneeze, it was recorded somehow."

Source: | Comments (13)

Tags: Meteorite

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Carnoferox on 28 April, 2020, 0:00
Color me skeptical, but the lack of physical evidence makes me doubtful. A few written accounts from 132 years ago are not convincing enough to declare with confidence that this is the first record. To me it sounds like a lot of other extraordinary claims that were common at the time.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 28 April, 2020, 0:16
And what physical evidence do you expect from 1888? If you are rejecting written evidence then you are rejecting most of the sum of human knowledge.  Turkey, in 1888, was not some little backward state, it was part of the Ottoman Empire.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Carnoferox on 28 April, 2020, 0:24
Pieces of the meteorite or skeletal remains of the victim would be a start. An extraordinarily unlikely event like this requires extraordinary evidence to confirm. Considering how many fake meteor stories circulated around the US during the late 1800's, I wouldn't be surprised if it happened in Turkey.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Piney on 28 April, 2020, 0:42
The Ottomans were pretty straightforward compared to the U.S. newspapers of the same time period and it happened in Iraq.  I would like to see the actual dated documents though. The Ottomans used a distinct alphabet currently not in use, which very few can read. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Carnoferox on 28 April, 2020, 0:56
There are photos of the documents in the paper.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Piney on 28 April, 2020, 1:07
I'm not a member and since prison, no longer have institution access.   
Comment icon #10 Posted by Carnoferox on 28 April, 2020, 1:08
I'll PM you a pdf.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Seti42 on 29 April, 2020, 16:57
I know this isn't directly related to the topic, but I really hate it when papers are behind a  paywall. Entertainment I can understand...But educational materials should be freely available to anyone who wants to read them. This is the kind of thing, like public libraries, governments should just fund with all of our taxes.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Carnoferox on 29 April, 2020, 17:05
Same here, I'm an advocate for open-access. Sci-hub is a good tool to use to crack the paywalls.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Jon the frog on 29 April, 2020, 17:06
knowledge is powaaaa !! like money this days..  

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
'Rat king' discovered by farmer in Russia
The unusual phenomenon happens when a group of rats get their tails hopelessly tangled together.
US Space Force reveals its new uniform design
The US Space Force has unveiled its prototype uniform design... which looks surprisingly familiar to sci-fi fans.
'Castleford Croc' spotted in UK back garden
A creature resembling a crocodile has been spotted wandering around outside residences in West Yorkshire.
Mystery woman in Croatia can't recall own name
Police in Croatia are investigating the case of a mystery woman who is unable to recall anything about her life.
Stories & Experiences
Mystery 'troll' captured on camera
4-24-2021 | Marsta, Sweden
My Grandfather's NDE
4-24-2021 | Oakland, California
The voice of something not human
11-17-2020 | Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles
Shadow figure demon ?
11-14-2020 | USA
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
NASA studies underwater 'white smoker' vents
Posted 4-17-2020 | 3 comments
Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor can teach us about possible habitats on other worlds.
10 strange things about our solar system
Posted 3-17-2020 | 0 comments
A look at some of the most mysterious things about our solar system.
Lizzie - Scotland's other loch monster
Posted 3-8-2020 | 0 comments
Amelia Dimoldenberg investigates the Loch Ness Monster's neighbor.
Adam Savage and Spot
Posted 2-14-2020 | 5 comments
Adam Savage tests out Boston Dynamics' impressive Spot robot.
NASA 2020: Are you ready ?
Posted 1-1-2020 | 3 comments
A look at what's coming up in the world of spaceflight this year.
 View: More videos
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 (c) 2001-2021
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ