Man killed by meteorite Saturday, first case in modern history


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Yesterday my fortune cookie said soon you will earn great distinction.

Now I’m worried.


On a purely actuarial basis, 200 people are killed every year by meteors (7 billion people/35 million years).


Surely you want the total human population for that period? Or, maybe the average human population? But I’m not terribly sure what the 35 million years represents.


Somewhere a cocky insurance agent is saying “who doesn’t need the extended coverage NOW?”


I think we get extinction level events about every 35MM years, yes?


I’m not buying term asteroid insurance, though. This is one place where whole might actually be the better buy.


I’m highly skeptical that this was a meteorite strike. Let me know when scientists present any real evidence.


Chicxulub was 65 million years ago, but I don’t know when the previous big, extinction-level meteor strike was, and we don’t know when the next Chicxulub is due. So I think your math is off.


I guess it could have been an IED, but I don’t know that a bus driver would have been a high-value target for Tamil separatists.


Well, if “modern history” includes 1908, then we can probably assume quite a few people were killed by the “Tunguska Event”, which was either an asteroid or a comet. The fact that it was in such an isolated area and there was no immediate investigation means we don’t have proof anyone died, but the local Siberian tribes certainly believe they lost people that day.



@DevinC seems more interested in distinction-level events.


I’d never heard that. It makes sense, but every account of it I’ve read makes no mention of Siberians at all.


You always hear the phrase “no known casualties”, but I recently watched a BBC documentary on it, and that was the first time I ever heard the Evenki tribe’s account-- they treat the anniversary of it like a solemn occasion. They are/were a nomadic people, and with 900 square miles of flattened, scorched trees, it does seem probable that a few were within the blast radius.


Seems prejudiced to discount this completely just because the official government death confirmer didn’t go there with his stamp.


I’ve been following this story through a listserv dedicated to meteorites. According to what is now known, it appears to have been a mishap with some dynamite, which was apparently stored in the area. The injuries the man ‘killed by meteorite’ suffered are not consistent with impact, rather explosion and burning (BTW, if you want to look at pictures of someone struck by a meteorite, search for Sylacauga and Hodges). The ‘recovered meteorite’ doesn’t show any of the characteristics of a fresh meteorite fall. I’m calling shenanigans.


So what are the odds compared to, say, winning the Powerball lottery?


You forgot about Jordy Verrill:


in my case, infinitely higher.