- An unidentified French woman was recently struck by a small meteorite while sitting on a terrace, an extremely rare occurrence.
- After examination by a roofer and geologist, the object appears to contain a mixture of iron and silicon, indicating it might be a meteorite.
- This incident follows the first confirmed case of a human hit by a meteorite almost 70 years ago in Alabama.
A French woman sipping coffee on a terrace with a friend got an unexpected jolt, and it wasn’t from the caffeine.
In a rare cosmic incident, she was struck by a small meteorite, according to a report by local newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace (DNA).
The unidentified woman heard a loud ‘Poom’ sound, followed by a sharp pain in her ribs. Initially, she thought an animal, perhaps a bat, had struck her. However, she discovered a pebble-like object nearby that seemed out of place.
“We thought it was a piece of cement, the one we apply to the ridge tiles. But it didn’t have the color,” she told DNA.
These “space rocks,” known as meteoroids in space, become meteorites when they survive the high-speed journey through Earth’s atmosphere and strike the ground.
They can range from the size of dust grains to small asteroids and originate from other larger bodies, primarily asteroids, but also the moon and other planets like Mars.
After the unusual incident, the woman sought the help of a local roofer, who concluded that the object wasn’t cement but resembled a meteorite.
Further examination by geologist Thierry Rebmann suggested that the object contained a mix of iron and silicon, indicating it could indeed be a meteorite.
The combined pieces recovered weighed nearly 4 ounces.
While nearly 50 tons of meteoritic material falls to Earth daily, according to NASA, incidents of people being hit are extremely rare. Most meteoritic material is tiny and falls into oceans, making up 70% of the Earth’s surface.
When found on land, distinguishing meteorites from regular rocks is a difficult task unless they land in easily identifiable environments, like deserts.
The first confirmed case of a human directly hit by a meteorite was Ann Hodges of Sylacauga, Alabama, who in 1954 was struck by an 8-pound stony meteorite that crashed through her roof, leaving her with severe bruising.