Live Science compiled seven strange things that fell from the sky – the list includes fireballs, spaceships, and even iguanas.
Green fireball over the Tasman sea
On November 18, 2020, researchers filmed an incredible video showing a bright green meteor flying over the southern coast of Tasmania (unfortunately, the video is black and white).
The research vessel Investigator, operated by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, captured the fireball as it crossed the sky and then disintegrated over the Tasman Sea. Eyewitnesses say it appeared green to the naked eye.
Rainbow meteorite in Costa Rica
A rainbow meteorite cracked over Costa Rica in 2019. Local residents found its fragments between the villages of La Palmera and Aguas Zarcas.
Ongoing research now hints that the fireball may have contained complex carbon compounds, probably amino acids, and even more complex building blocks of life.
The meteor originally broke away from a larger asteroid that formed from the dust of an ancient nebula. It was this nebula that later gave birth to our solar system.
SpaceX prototype explosion
SpaceX’s Starship program conducted a high-altitude test flight of a prototype called SN8 in 2020, and everything went as planned except for the landing. The prototype took off from the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas, and ascended about 12.5 km into the skies, performing complex aerial maneuvers along the way. The car then descended to the designated landing point on the ground, but entered too quickly and caught fire. The explosion occurred just 6 minutes 42 seconds after the launch.
Meteorite in Michigan
In January 2018, a meteorite fell in the US state of Michigan, and its fragments hit a frozen lake. This year, after careful analysis of the space rock, scientists announced that the meteorite contains thousands of organic compounds that were formed billions of years ago. These compounds appeared in the early days of our solar system, which means that meteorites that fell on the young Earth could carry similar molecules. At the time, scientists said organic compounds from meteors could have been incorporated into the ecosystem of primitive microbes, so studying a Michigan meteor could give us an idea of early life on the planet.
Comet debris may have razed ancient Syrian settlement to the ground
The first known farmers on Earth lived in the prehistoric settlement of Abu Hureira in northern Syria, but then some mysterious fire incident occurred that destroyed the city, leaving mostly the remains of thatched huts with carbon footprints. Glass fragments were also found among the debris, formed from melting soil, molten samples with a high content of iron and sulfur, and nanodiamonds.
Scientists recently took a closer look at these vitreous materials and found that they could only form at temperatures above 2,000 degrees Celsius. The team concluded that fragments of the passing comet likely exploded over the village, triggering a massive heatwave that burned the village and the soil beneath it.
Asteroid that killed dinosaurs fell at the worst angle
The monstrous asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs crashed into Earth at such a steep angle that the dinosaurs simply did not have a chance. Scientists modeled its path and found that it hit the ground at an angle of about 60 degrees above the horizon.
According to simulations, this trajectory caused the asteroid to spew about three times as much sulfur and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The gas released from the impact caused global climate change and killed 75% of all life on Earth, including all non-avian dinosaurs.
Iguanas fall on Florida residents
In January, the Florida Meteorological Service (USA) warned of low temperatures (up to 4.4 degrees Celsius) with the likelihood of reptiles falling from the sky.
The fact is that when it gets cold, the iguanas living on the tops of the trees seem to freeze, fall to the ground and look dead. But as soon as the weather gets warmer, they start to come alive again.