Scientists Discover Earliest Proof Of A Man Killed By A Meteorite

Sometime in 1888, a meteorite reportedly killed a man and went on to injure another. Per scientists, this makes it the earliest known evidence of a man getting killed by a heavenly body that fell to Earth.

Scientists find earliest evidence of meteorite-caused human death

In his book “Rendezvous with Rama,” Arthur C. Clarke said that “the meteorites of 1908 and 1947 had struck uninhabited wilderness; but by the end of the twenty-first century there was no region left on Earth that could be safely used for celestial target practice.”

Now, new research reveals that a meteorite also made some sort of history back in Aug. 22, 1888, when it fell down to Earth and killed a person. The discovery was reportedly made by a group of Turkish researchers while searching through Turkish state archives. While there have long been reports of people getting hit by meteorites, this is the first time that it’s been documented.

"This issue might be due to the fact that either the manuscript was written in a language other than English, or there is not enough interest in historical records," wrote the researchers.

Thankfully however, the new findings also revealed that the Turkish state archives recorded just about everything. "Almost every single event was recorded in the archives. I mean, if you sneeze, it was recorded somehow. Natural events, financial issues, governmental messaging, etc," said lead author Ozan Unsalan, an associate professor in the physics department at Istanbul University.

From this flood of documents, the team was able to find letters written by local authorities made shortly after a meteorite fell to Earth, which made its descent into what is now Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Per the report, the meteorite killed one man and paralyzed another, with the meteorite itself one of many that fell during a 10-minute time period. In addition, people that live nearby also reported a fireball falling from the sky.

“We are very curious and need to find that real sample [of the meteorite] delivered to the museum. After that, we will classify the sample type according to the scientific criteria,” stated Unsalan, saying that they are now looking for more evidence.

A portion of the the Wedderburn meteorite containing edscottite A portion of the the Wedderburn meteorite containing edscottite. Dr. Belinda Barnet