Hard to Believe: Iowa had the Largest Meteorite to Ever Hit North America
About two weeks ago, we told you of the largest asteroid crater in America being in Iowa.
Well, guess what? More space junk crashed into the Hawkeye State. Who knew?
On a Saturday afternoon in May of 1879, a 455-pound meteorite collided with Earth, lodging itself and its fragments 15 feet under the Iowa soil.
Upon it's entry into the atmosphere, the piece of space rock freaking BLEW UP and startled the population of the surrounding area.
Following the explosion, a thunderous blast of sound shook the surrounding landscape. Then, what appeared to be a ball of fire speeding across the sky smashed into the ground.
According to meteorite-recon.com,
Three persons north of town, more than half a mile apart, saw dirt fly high into the air. ... Two people crossing the prairie in an open rig near Superior, Iowa, 6 miles west of Estherville, found themselves directly under the mass when it exploded. They reported the three large pieces took separate directions, trailing ribbons of vapor which formed a crow’s foot in the sky. A herdboy near Superior, reported that falling stones had caused his cattle to stampede, and other boys at Four Mile Lake said the placid water had been peppered with small pebbles.
Though no one in the surrounding towns was injured upon impact of the meteorite, the greater-Estherville area will forever remember the event -- it's their claim to fame.
Portions of the meteorite are on display in the Estherville Public Library, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. A piece of the meteorite was purchased in 2010 and now resides in the soon to open Meteorite Center in Estherville.