Scientists recently discovered the first recorded evidence of a meteorite hitting and killing a person. According to the scientists, the incident was narrated in historical documents that came from the Ottoman Empire.
Millions of tiny meteorites hit Earth every day. While most of these burn up and dissolve in the atmosphere, some of them are big enough to reach all the way to the ground.
Evidence Of Death By Meteorite
Due to these falling meteors, there have been numerous claims about people getting hit and killed by small space rocks. Unfortunately, these claims are not supported by written or concrete proof. Recently, a team of scientists came across historical documents that detailed the death of a person because of a meteorite.
They presented their findings in a new study published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science. The three documents they analyzed were written by different local officials who served under the Ottoman Empire, which ruled over North Africa, western Asia and southeastern Europe from the 14th to 20th centuries.
Content Of The Documents
After translating the documents, which were originally written in Ottoman Turkish, the scientists were able to analyze their contents.
According to the documents, a meteor hit a hill in a region called Sulaymaniyah, an area that is part of a region that is now known as Iraq. The meteor then exploded and sent fragments flying in various directions. Two men were hit by the debris from the meteor. While the incident left one of the men paralyzed, the other victim died after getting hit by the meteor fragment.
Origin Of The Documents
As indicated in the documents, the incident happened on Aug. 22, 1888. It was officially reported to the region's local governor on Sept. 13 before being forwarded to the central administration on Oct. 8. Eventually, the report reached Abdul Hamid II, who served as the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
"To the best of our knowledge, we show the ﬁrst proof of an event ever that a meteorite hit and killed a man and left paralyzed another on August 22, 1888 in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, based on three manuscripts written in Ottoman Turkish that were extracted from the General Directorate of State Archives of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey," the scientists stated in the abstract of their study.