Saturday, February 23, 2013

The True Story of History's Only Known Meteorite Victim

Ann Hodges was hit by a meteorite in her Alabama home in 1954.

The victim of a meteor strike in Sylacauga, Alabama. 

Moody Jacobs shows a giant bruise on the side and hip of his patient, Ann Hodges, in 1954, after she was struck by a meteorite.

The Russian meteorite, whose sonic boom damaged buildings and injured more than a thousand last week, is not the first to shatter a human life. (See pictures: "Meteorite Hits Russia.")

Take the true story of Ann Hodges, the only confirmed person in history to have been hit by a meteorite.

On a clear afternoon in Sylacauga, Alabama (see map), in late November 1954, Ann was napping on her couch, covered by quilts, when a softball-size hunk of black rock broke through the ceiling, bounced off a radio, and hit her in the thigh, leaving a pineapple-shaped bruise.

Ann's story is particularly rare because most meteorites usually fall into the ocean or strike one of Earth's vast, remote places, according to Michael Reynolds, a Florida State College astronomer and author of the book Falling Stars: A Guide to Meteors & Meteorites.

"Think of how many people have lived throughout human history," Reynolds said.

For the rest of the story: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/02/130220-russia-meteorite-ann-hodges-science-space-hit/

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