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Meteor crash in Peru, Hundreds Ill

  1. Sep 19, 2007 #1
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/graphics/2007/09/19/wperu.jpg [Broken]

    "Eyewitnesses watched a fiery ball fall from the sky and smash into the remote Andean plain near the Bolivian border on Saturday, local media reported."

    "When villagers went to investigate, they encountered fetid, noxious gases, according to local health officials."

    "Puno, Peru's Regional Health Director, Jorge López Tejada, reported yesterday that at least 150 people had been seen after having stated they had dermal injuries, were dizzy, nauseous or vomiting."

    "According to the townspeople, the illnesses began after the meteorite crashed and they began to touch the glowing rock believing it had some type of monetary value. Aside from the hundreds of townspeople that were affected, Tejada reported that 8 police officers had to be hospitalized after having taken samples of the meteorite."

    "Local police reported that the supposed meteorite made a hole 6 meters (19 feet) deep and 30 meters (98 feet) wide."

    "Scientists confirmed yesterday that the meteorite that caused a 17 meter (55 foot) wide and 5 meter (16 foot) deep crater in Puno, Peru was a chondrite meteorite. The water in the crater is to be drained and several teams of scientists from different countries will take samples from the crater itself and from surrounding areas."

    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2007 #2


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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2007
  4. Sep 19, 2007 #3


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    I've been following this story with interest. Last I heard it has not been confirmed that this was a meteorite impact, so this is progress.

    Extraterrestrial disease had been suggested when I heard it first, but I also wondered if the crater had caused the release of trapped gas, volcanic or otherwise, particularly with reports of bubbling water and mud in the crater.
  5. Sep 19, 2007 #4
    I read about this a few days ago as well. The police doing some of the rescue and evac operations had to be put on oxygen.

    First photo I've seen, pretty far out. Didn't expect to see it so muddy.
  6. Sep 19, 2007 #5


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    I just saw this on the BBC news not long ago. It will be interesting to find out what caused the crater and the illness. The symptoms of the illness do seem to be very much consistent with carbon monoxide exposure. I don't know how concentrated carbon monoxide has to be to have those effects though.

    I suppose what will be slightly humourous about this incident is when they announce its something like carbon monoxide poisoning and not a War of the Worlds style plague, a lot of people will be disappointed. Damn I was really hoping it would be a killer bacteria from another world. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2007
  7. Sep 19, 2007 #6


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    That thing had to be really hot when it hit the earth, yet there is water in the crater. Could it be that the fumes (or whatever) were a result of the heat cooking up a chemical reaction with existing ground minerals? Or could it be a combination of existing minerals and minerals in the meteorite + a lot of heat and boiling water?

    Surely the meteorite sizzled in the ground for some time before it cooled down.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6187895002647643716&q=Meteor+crash+in+Peru&total=2&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0 [Broken]

    If the freaking U.S. media could get of off the O.J. frenzy for a day or so maybe we might find out.
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  8. Sep 19, 2007 #7
    the quote above said something about a glowing rock... wouldn't these symptoms also correlate to radiation poisoning? Not to mention the "dermal injuries"?
  9. Sep 19, 2007 #8
    Ha !

    Fat chance...

    For as long as the media live off the fetid fumes of tinsel town gossip, this will never happen.:frown:

  10. Sep 19, 2007 #9
    :rofl: at least THAT would distract the media from OJ... well, when it reaches north america.

    could CO from such a small crater cause that much illness on an open area? maybe the impact stirred up bacteria into the air or something. or it could be venom from spiderman. that'd be neat. it'll turn us all into evil sex machines :wink:
  11. Sep 20, 2007 #10
    This is interesting! What if the crater was not created by a meteorite in the first place...

    BA Phil Plait has an interesting write-up.
  12. Sep 20, 2007 #11
    See all the mud?

    I'd put my money on a hydrothermal event (geyser). Yellowstone also stinks.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2007
  13. Sep 20, 2007 #12
    The shape is WAYYY off for a sonic-impact. Its uneven around the edges, the edges should be pushed up more, and it would be much larger. This looks like your average explosion crater. The water is unexpected, but maybe it punched into an underground well or spring source?? I just don't believe that this was a meteorite.

    EDIT - Sorry I'm not so.. technical. XD
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2007
  14. Sep 20, 2007 #13
    You are correct!!!!!!




  15. Sep 20, 2007 #14


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    That sounds reasonable. The geyser water could have appeared to locals as a bright object, and it would have been seen before it was heard.
  16. Sep 20, 2007 #15


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    "Glowing rock" reminisces radioactivity, doesn't it?
  17. Sep 20, 2007 #16


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    No. That's only in movies. To me, "glowing" rock means VERY hot temperature-wise and still cooling after entry through the atmosphere. I wouldn't be freaking out about microorganisms, but more likely just some toxic fumes from whatever metals or other compounds were in the meteor or the ground it landed on...assuming again that's what it was. The "dermal injuries" are probably burns from people too stupid to stand back and let a rock so hot it's glowing cool down before touching it (I'd expect that if it's big enough, it would take a few days to fully cool to ambient temperature, don't you think?)
  18. Sep 20, 2007 #17

    No its not. I remember very well a story about some kids in a village who removed radioactive elements from an old dental device. They played with it and smeared it all over their skin because it was glowing. ALOT of people got sick.
  19. Sep 20, 2007 #18

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    Where is the rock? I just see a muddy hole.
  20. Sep 20, 2007 #19
    Scientist Confirms Meteorite in Puno, Peru is a Chondrite
    Volcanologist for Peru's Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Institute (INGEMMET), Luisa Macedo, confirmed that a chondrite meteorite had caused the 17 meter (55 foot) wide and 5 meter (16 foot) deep crater when it landed on earth.

    Macedo explained that the chondrite was not radioactive and did not have any toxic gases or substances which could be harmful to peoples health.

    I wonder why the information is so vague and there are no photos of the meteorite!
    Are the size of the crater and the meteorite consistent?
  21. Sep 21, 2007 #20


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    When I read this on spaceweather.com, the article was very unconvinced it was actually a meteorite, and based on all the water (in what even looks like a desert), the bad smells and illnesses, it sounded like something like a sinkhole, or at least a bit more local.
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