5 People That Got Absolutely Wrecked By A Meteor

You don’t want to take a cosmic foul ball to the dome
5 People That Got Absolutely Wrecked By A Meteor

The universe is packed to the gills with bits and bobs constantly whizzing about. Which raises a philosophical question: Can something that is infinite ever accurately be packed to its gills? Gnaw on that for a second, why don’t you? The only thing I’m sure about as far as that conundrum goes is that my art degree isn’t helping with it.

The simple fact remains: There’s a lot of shit up there. We have to sit in our little glorified huts of mixed height and materials and convince ourselves that probability says our planet isn’t getting airholed by one any time soon. Of course, probability also says playing slot machines is a stupid idea, yet every time I’m at the casino, some octogenarian is getting her paper-thin shins bruised by a flood of coins, so what do they know? The fact is, meteorites have indeed hit our Earth, and some people have been unlucky enough to get wrecked by them.

Here are five people who got their ass handed to them by space rocks…

The Kops

Carol Walker

Like this, but you know, cooler.

No, this is not an attempt at a fun rebranding of the police force, though their public relations could definitely use some work. I’m instead talking about a New Jersey family, notably matriarch Suzy Kop, who got an unpleasant space surprise earlier this year. Looking forward to another calm New Jersey day of eating ziti out of the fridge and organized crime — at least according to what HBO told me — suddenly they heard the kind of sound that suggests your house is different now.

That sound was a meteorite the size of a potato, which had made the long journey through the great expanse with the apparent mission of ruining a perfectly good roof. It crashed through said roof into a thankfully unoccupied bedroom, where it reportedly ricocheted around like a squash rally from hell. It was still warm to the touch when they investigated, but thankfully wasn’t lodged in any brainpans. No one was injured at all, actually — unless you’re part of some strange, fringe religion that considers houses people.

Chelyabinsk’s Citizens


If the shockwave doesn't get you, the trypophobia will.

Russia seems like a pretty dangerous place to live. I may be basing that on the fact that 90 percent of my experience with the country is accidentally watching LiveLeak videos where somebody dies, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. If your kids are climbing cranes with selfie sticks to unwind, what’s on the ground can’t be that great. For the citizens of the cartoonishly Russian city of Chelyabinsk, space itself came down to rain (rocks) on their already sad parade.

In February 2013, they were the unfortunate termination location of a particular asteroid’s trajectory. This asteroid wasn’t glorified gravel, either, but 66 feet in diameter, scientifically qualifying it as a “doozy.” It never made it to the ground, but all was not well regardless. It exploded in what’s called an airburst 30 kilometers above Chelyabinsk, and even without a surface impact, things were none too sunny. In a way that suggests the universe was making fun of what we consider to be mass destruction, the asteroid exploded with a force 30 times that of the Hiroshima nuke known as Little Boy. More than 7,000 buildings were damaged, and 1,500 people were injured by the shockwave, many of them by broken glass while trying to see what the hell was going on out there.

Hundreds of Peruvians


Youre telling me these cute little guys caused all that trouble?

This next entry is another case of a meteorite causing widespread injury, but this one was a little more… subtle? Not that the word feels apt for something defined by a loud entrance. A meteorite buried itself in the earth (both in the proper and common noun sense) near the village of Carancas in Peru. Shortly after the impact, people in the surrounding area became violently ill. As you might imagine when a space rock lands and everybody starts puking, people sort of freaked out.

Wild hypotheses spilled forth, including everything from poisonous space gas to radioactive spy satellite fuel. Weirdly, in the end, the culprit turned out not to be the meteorite, but our planet, sort of like a weird, geological Scooby-Doo mask pull. The ground the meteorite so unceremoniously disturbed was filled with arsenic deposits, and the impact kicked a whole heap of it into the air. Arsenic, of course, being a substance that makes knock-off vape juice seem like a lung’s best friend.

Ann Hodges


The doctor says I have to check it every day for little alien eggs.

Despite all the close calls and secondary injuries, to this day there is still only one recorded instance of a human being hit directly by a meteor. The winner of the world’s least pleasant lottery outside of a Shirley Jackson short story is Ann Hodges from Alabama. Adding insult to injury, the meteorite in question hit her while she was in the middle of a perfectly pleasant nap.

It was November 1954 when a nine-pound bit of space debris rocketed through her ceiling, caromed off a radio, and smacked her right in the thigh meat. It left one hell of a bruise and an even bigger headache when it kicked off a legal battle with her landlord over who owned the actual rock. Landlords, amirite? She probably walked up and said something like, “It seems my new piece of treasure has cost you your security deposit.”

The Dinosaurs



None of those big teeth, horns or cool weaponized tails were worth jack squat when space decided it was monkey time. Those scaly suckers got smoked faster than the skinniest joint at a Slightly Stoopid show. Enjoy lizard hell, boys! Better hope some mosquito filled with your DNA got stuck on a patch of slowly secreted tree resin if you ever want to see daylight again!

Eli Yudin is a stand-up comedian in Brooklyn. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @eliyudin and listen to his podcast, What A Time to Be Alive, about the five weirdest news stories of the week, on Apple PodcastsSpotify or wherever else you get your podcasts.

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