Meteorites host the dual powers of creation and destruction; it was a meteorite that burst through the atmosphere and cleared an evolutionary path for humans. It may also be a meteorite that destroys our own civilization, as well.

On September 15th, 2007, a meteorite came crashing down on Carancas, a tiny village located in Peru. The villagers swarmed the site and came back with curious maladies:along with rashes and nausea, crackpot theories spread like a contagion. Some believed it was a Russian spy satellite; others believed it was the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. Even scientists were baffled:

When I interviewed scientists about the meteorite, they took a different approach than the blogs. The statement I heard most from them was: “I don’t know.” They seemed unperturbed about the whole affair. They talked about “geometrical effects” and “weak latitude dependence” and referred me to other experts. They accepted the meteorite with curiosity, but also perfect equanimity, which seemed reasonable to me.

In “When the Sky Comes Out of the Ground,” Ray Huling dwells on the mysteries of meteorites, and the Lovecraftian tales we love to come up with when something from the sky comes falling down to Earth. Read “When the Sky Comes Out of the Ground,” and share your own theories with us.


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