On June 30, 1908, something exploded over an isolated region of Siberia. Theories abound over what that something could have been, with explanations both prosaic (meteorite or comet) and preposterous (UFO crash, one of Tesla’s experiments gone wrong) offered over the years since that mysterious event. While I personally love the idea of a UFO crash, it turns out that scientists working with the Russian Academy of Science may have turned up the first solid proof that a meteorite may have been the actual culprit:
In the 1930s, an expedition to the region led by the Russian mineralogist Leonid Kulik returned with a sample of melted glassy rock containing bubbles. Kulik considered this evidence of an impact event. But the sample was somehow lost and has never undergone modern analysis. As such, there is no current evidence of an impact in the form of meteorites.
That changes today with the extraordinary announcement by Andrei Zlobin from the Russian Academy of Sciences that he has found three rocks from the Tunguska region with the telltale characteristics of meteorites. If he is right, these rocks could finally help solve once and for all what kind of object struck Earth all those years ago.