French Woman Allegedly Hit By Meteorite While Having Coffee With Friends
A lady from a village in Alsace in east France shared her story about being rudely interrupted as she sipped on her coffee when something hit her on the chest, what she believes was a small meteorite fragment.. The lady says the small space rock first hit her roof before bouncing off and smacking into her chest.
It's not every day that someone is hit by a meteorite while trying to enjoy a cup of coffee with friends. In fact, it is an extraordinarily rare occurrence for someone to be struck by a meteorite anywhere on their body. But such was the case for the woman in France recently, and if confirmed would be the first person on record to be struck by a meteorite in nearly 70 years.
"I heard a big 'Poom' coming from the roof next to us. In the second that followed, I felt a shock on the ribs. I thought it was an animal, a bat!" the lady proclaimed in an interview with the French newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (DNA). She continued, "We thought it was a piece of cement, the one we apply to the ridge tiles. But it didn't have the color."
According to NASA, a meteorite is "a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach the surface of a planet or moon." Stony meteorites are the most common, making up 95% of meteorites observed to fall to Earth.
The lady later took the rock fragment to a roofer for examination. The roofer said it did not look like it was made from cement, but rather the strange object was a meteorite. It was at that point the woman took the small rock to geologist Thierry Rebmann.
Rebmann explained to her that the sample appeared to be made up of a mixture of iron and silicon, and could be a meteorite. All of the fragments that have been collected of the alleged meteorite amount to a total mass of nearly 4 ounces.
"It's very rare, in our temperature environments to find them," Rebmann explained about being able to find meteorites after falling to Earth. "They merge with other elements. On the other hand, in a desert environment, we can find them more easily."
While it is not uncommon for small meteorites to fall to Earth, NASA says almost 50 tons of meteoric material is estimated to fall to Earth every day, it is rare that one of these meteorites actually strikes a human.
There have been more than a few incidents of people claiming they were struck by a meteorite throughout history, but many lack the evidence needed in order to confirm the claim. The first confirmed case of a meteorite hitting a person happened in the United States nearly 70 years ago.
That event occurred in 1954, as Ann Hodges of Sylacauga, Alabama, was struck by an 8-pound meteorite that smashed through her roof. Fortunately, Hodges only incurred severe bruising from the space rock.