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Mysterious Peruvian Meteor Disease Solved

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the oh-great-its-only-poison dept.

Space 146

Technician writes "The meteor that crashed in Peru caused a mystery illnesses. The cause of the illness has been found. The meteor was not toxic. The ground water it contacted contains arsenic. The resulting steam cloud is what caused the mystery illness. "The meteorite created the gases when the object's hot surface met an underground water supply tainted with arsenic, the scientists said." There is a very good photo of the impact crater in the article. The rim of the crater is lined with people for a size comparison."

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Aha (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727673)

It's funny because it's poisonous.

Re:Aha (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727959)

It's funny because it's poisonous.

The groundwater is poisonous. The meteorite was just a hot rock.

Re:Aha (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728319)

The meteorite was just a hot rock.

TFA doesn't mention anything about the meteorite (or parts thereof) being found...

Re:Aha (2, Funny)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728579)

Yeah, I mean why don't they write about the meteorite instead of saying things like

The meteorite's impact sent debris flying up to 820 feet (250 meters) away
or

The samples also had a significant amount of magnetic material "characteristic of meteorites," she said.
or

"It's a rocky fragment," Machare said, "and rocks that fall from the sky can only be meteorites."

Re:Aha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20728051)

+5 Funny Futurama Reference

far far away (1)

sylverboss (846288) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727687)

We never know what comes out of space :o)

Re:far far away (4, Funny)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728313)

Have we learned nothing from 1950's horror movies? [imdb.com]

Or even 1970's science fiction? [imdb.com]

If it's glowing, and just came from outer space, RUN. AWAY.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Re:far far away (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728761)

Arsenic Farts from Outer-Space.

You know, like when you land, the stress goes away, you stand up.

*Perrrt*

I can haz a mystery illnesses? (1)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727691)

*rolls eyes*

Don't Believe it.. (4, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727713)

Bah! That's what they want you to believe. I prefer to believe my own complex conspiracy theory involving secret government projects, space aliens, and duct tape.

Re:Don't Believe it.. (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727743)

Noob. Any conspiracy theory has to involve black planes.

Re:Don't Believe it.. (3, Informative)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728021)

that would be black helicopters [wikipedia.org] ... not black planes

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728633)

Hah, that's what they want you to think. Almost the perfect cover for their fleet of black VTOL super silent jet aircraft ( based on stolen alien tech )

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728665)

That's what they want you to believe. Or are you one of them?

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728611)

And chemtrails.

Re:Don't Believe it.. (4, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727751)

Bah! That's what they want you to believe. I prefer to believe my own complex conspiracy theory involving secret government projects, space aliens, and duct tape.
Mine involves those, plus a copy of Catcher in the Rye, several men known by three names, a few guys wearing all black, some black helicopters, Area 51, and a can of cheeze whiz.

I'm not sure what the cheese whiz is for.

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

jonatha (204526) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728099)

I'm not sure what the cheese whiz is for.

Lubricant for the warp drive....

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728157)

several men known by three names

You mean Jan Michael Vincent and Casper Van Diem are involved? Uh, oh. Somebody better call Cher.

Re:Don't Believe it.. (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728351)

I'm not sure what the cheese whiz is for.
Interrogations. Just the sight of a can of cheez whiz in the hands of a skilled interrogator has caused many fine men to crumble.

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728473)

Nothing to worry about! No problem, just ignore that strange growth [wikipedia.org] attached to everyone.

Piezokinetic properties of cheeze whiz (1)

smurd (48976) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728445)

You may be onto something here, In a drunken stupor I shoved a whistling bottle rocket into a full jar and got a 25 foot shmutz radius. We think the stick went back in time.

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728645)

I'm not sure what the cheese whiz is for.

Sure ... that's what you want us to believe. ;-)

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729131)

Good thing I falsified my renewal. I put down 1060 W. Addison.

Re:Don't Believe it.. (2, Funny)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729361)

I'm not sure what the cheese whiz is for.

Has to do with the watermelon.

I'll tell you later.

Re:Don't Believe it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727991)

Funny, The arsenik level in the groundwater must have been so high that all animals around would die instantainously.. think about it!, or did the meteorit struck a burried barrel of arsenik??

Re:Don't Believe it.. (3, Funny)

AdamThor (995520) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729041)

Zombies, people! Zombies!

Be on the lookout for other stories from South America:
- Cannibalism
- Murder Spree
- Violent Insanity
- People missing
- Further mystery disease
- Riot / uprising
- corpse mutilation

Organize before they rise!

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729463)

Mine is better. It has Knight Templars in it.

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729499)

I can top that with one word: Freemasons!

Re:Don't Believe it.. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729619)

This whole thing seemed like a non-story from the beginning. What idiots really ever thought that it brought some space illness with it? Any idiot should have realized immediately that the impact simply stirred up something terrestrial and launched it into the surrounding air for the population to breathe in. I wouldn't have guessed arsenic, but it was obviously *something*.

Who are these scientists? (1, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727715)

They make some great comments:

"Imagine the magnitude of the impact," he said. "People were extremely scared. It was a psychological thing."


No! Imagine that! People being scared -- a human behaviorial characteristic, was a psychological thing. Um, isn't psychology the study of human behavior? Yeah. Brilliant scientist.

"It's a rocky fragment," Machare said, "and rocks that fall from the sky can only be meteorites."


Really? Ya think?

Re:Who are these scientists? (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727809)

I'll just bet the water it contacted was, upon further study, found to be wet.

Re:Who are these scientists? (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728023)

And the rock was found to be solid. amaZING!

Re:Who are these scientists? (4, Informative)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727813)

Well, for what it's worth, some people were on the right track from the start. From the first BBC article [bbc.co.uk] :

A local journalist, Martine Hanlon, told the BBC experts [that he] did not believe the meteor would make anybody sick, but they did think a chemical reaction caused by its contact with the ground could release toxins such as sulphur and arsenic.

Re:Who are these scientists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727861)

Too bad water to steam isn't a chemical reaction.

Re:Who are these scientists? (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728679)

Well, exposing things to to oxygen might make them oxidized... Happens all the time with pyrite mines around here, see this article for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_mine_drainage [wikipedia.org]

So yeah, mixing things up and letting in water and air will cause all sorts of chemical reactions...

Re:Who are these scientists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727891)

They do sound remarkably retarded, and, no, I don't think it's just the press being even more moronic that the "scientists".

Re:Who are these scientists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20728057)

I know! You're really smart. What good are explanations for people who aren't as knowledgeable on the subject? They aren't of any use to you!

And it would have gotten away with it too... (5, Funny)

pieaholicx (1148705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727723)

If it weren't for those meddling scientists!

Too bad this didn't happen in Jena, LA... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727811)

Then we might be hearing real news on the TV instead of race-baiting, mind-numbing, arguments trying to get the government to hand out affirmative action justice.

Wasn't this a X-files episode? (1)

sig226 (171084) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727727)

Yea, arsenic poisoning, that's a good one.

Makes sense (2, Informative)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727739)

The symptoms [wikipedia.org] match.

And, before anyone starts up with the whole "apple seed" thing - that's cyanide, not arsenic [snopes.com] .

How embarrassing! (2, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727755)

The whole world ooohs and ahhhs at your mysterious meteor and the local chamber of commerce is rubbing its hands together, thinking about how many tourists will be dropping by to see the Terror From the Skies and then--oh, no, never mind. Sorry, folks, nothing to see here. We're just slobs and our place is a toxic shithole. Sorry about that. Just call us Newark south.

Re:How embarrassing! (4, Informative)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727875)

Arsenic pollution doesn't have to be man-made, and groundwater-borne arsenic frequently isn't. Go check out the Wikipedia page on it [wikipedia.org] , which is also summarized nicely here [wikipedia.org] . The external links are particularly enlightening, and you can check up on all those shiny statistics.

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727911)

Aw, dude. Way to ruin my beautiful scenario with facts. Jeez.

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

AbbyNormal (216235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728175)

Or from the Nat. Geographic article: "Numerous arsenic deposits have been found in the subsoils of southern Peru, explained Modesto Montoya, a nuclear physicist who collaborated with the team. The naturally formed deposits contaminate local drinking water."

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

obidobi (306713) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728363)

Isn't arsenic a pretty common biproduct of mining? Don't know if this location have or is a place for mining activities but could be.

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728593)

Arsenic is a pretty common byproduct of mining because it is often found in the ore!

Arsenic is all natural and part of the environment. It just happens to be one of the toxic, nasty, all natural bits. In this case it is naturally occuring in the ground water. Hope they have some good artificial, man made, filtering systems around if they use that water.

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

obidobi (306713) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728609)

Searching some more and Peru's main source of wealth is actually mining and there are lots of polution related to these activities documented.

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=35846 [ipsnews.net]

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

ZwJGR (1014973) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728649)

That's probably because the arsenic is already in the ground in the first place, makes sense really...
Water can leech it up as well as digging machines.

Re:How embarrassing! (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727915)

Sorry, folks, nothing to see here. We're just slobs and our place is a toxic shithole. Sorry about that. Just call us Newark south.

Yeah, those poor, uneducated Peruvians and their backwards, self-polluting, toxic-drinking-water ways. Imagine dumping your arsenic right there where you live. Well, you WILL have to imagine, because if you RTF, you'll note that the area has naturally occuring arsenic deposits. It's in the ground water, and it's always been in the ground water. Nice troll, though!

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

pieaholicx (1148705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728141)

...because if you RTF...
Rich Text Format?
Ready To Fly?
Real Time Factor?
Rescue Task Force?

Can't quite find the RTF that's a verb...

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728343)

Can't quite find the RTF that's a verb...

Well, you insensitive clod, if you'd RTF, you'd understand. The freakin' Space Meteor Arsenic has damaged my ability to conjugate verbs, and I won't be able to get rid of Space Meteor Arsenic Syndrome until I get a conjugal visit. I hope you feel good about yourself.

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

pieaholicx (1148705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728379)

Still don't know what verb RTF could be. Unless you mean something like RTFA, in which case we have an entirely different situation.

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728595)

Still don't know what verb RTF could be. Unless you mean something like RTFA, in which case we have an entirely different situation.

Dude. First one was a typo, second one was a joke. Really.

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

@madeus (24818) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728935)

Still don't know what verb RTF could be.
If you were so slow you couldn't work out it was a typo, you should probably try visiting another website [disney.com] , one that's less challenging.

If you were able to work that out, but you just enjoy being a dick there are websites for people like you too [goatse.cz] .

Re:How embarrassing! (1)

pieaholicx (1148705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729021)

If you were able to work that out, but you just enjoy being a dick there are websites for people like you too.
Ah yes, and of course linking to goatse doesn't qualify you as "being a dick"?

No Chamber of Commerce, ID-10-T (1)

cusco (717999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729279)

Carancas is hell-and-gone in the middle of nowhere. The closest place with a Chamber of Commerce would be Puno, at least a day's travel in the back of a truck away, which has plenty of attractions of its own. The area is stunningly beautiful, worth a trip just to see the vistas. The people are pleasant and polite, with poor but neat farmsteads, with potato farming, livestock and some small-scale mining being the mainstays of the region. That close to the border they may do a certain amount of electronics and cigarette smuggling as well.

Areas like Carancas which have silver, lead, and copper deposits often have problems with arsenic and cyanide in their ground water. I rather suspected something like that from the beginning.

The above poster sounds similar to the racist bitch at the London Natural History Museum who thought that the locals had simply not noticed a stinking lake full of methane until the fireball drew their attention to it.

Pout (2, Funny)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727769)

A mundane reason for the illnesses.

I guess I'll go put my tin-foil hat away..... Oh! Wait! How about if I claim a government cover-up? Where are the men in black?

Re:Pout (3, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727823)

How about if I claim a government cover-up? Where are the men in black?

Take a look at this light, please. *FLASH*

drat, a commonsense explanation (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727795)

I read on Pravda that the "meteor" was actually a downed US spy sat and it was done as a blue-on-blue false flag strike to be blamed on certain foreign powers as a prelude to starting a new war. The locals were suffering from radiation sickness from the plutonium core on the sat! And now you're saying there's a reasonable explanation? Feh. Pravda is my new Weekly World News, I just wish they'd pick up the Bat Boy features. I've been wondering what that little scamp is up to.

Re:drat, a commonsense explanation (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727975)

There was a small number of DU'ers who took this to heart. It was rather amusing.

That's a shame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727921)

I was really looking forward to the zombie invasion.

Arsenic? (2, Insightful)

Eponymous Bastard (1143615) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727941)

The ground water it contacted contains arsenic.

Sounds like they have bigger things to worry about than silly meteors.

Don't worry, it's natural arsenic. (2, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728505)

I guess it wouldn't be a good time to market bottled "Peruvian Spring Water".

I'll stick to tap water.

Much about nature sucks.

Re:Don't worry, it's natural arsenic. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729531)

Well, they could probably market it to nursing homes and New Orleans hospitals.

DON'T TRUST THEM THEY'VE BEEN INFECTED (1)

jamsessionjay (802511) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727971)

THE ALIENS HAVE ALREADY GOTTEN TO THE SCIENTISTS. NOW NO ONE IS LEFT. WHO CAN STOP THE UNSTOPPABLE? Already I am in my bunker, my dial up connection to the world furiously pounding bits to find the true evil. Where did these monstrousities come from? There, above the stars. Truly we must prepare. Guns are ready. The aliens menace will be destroyed.

Re:DON'T TRUST THEM THEY'VE BEEN INFECTED (1, Troll)

Dr. Crash (237179) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728075)

The arsenic-in-ground-water-converted-to-steam idea is a good one - EXCEPT
that meteorites, when striking, are not hot. They are very, very cold; (
a freshly-fallen meteorite is usually covered with frost); the
glow of reentry is compression heating of the air in front of the meteorite,
not the meteorite itself.

So, in the absence of other evidence, I have to call "bull****" on a "steam
cloud loaded with arsenic" explanation.

          - Dr. Crash

I agree with InstaPundit on this one... (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728355)

... the first stories of Peruvian cannibalism, and I'm grabbing my shotgun and heading for the hills...

What, again with the zombies?

Re:DON'T TRUST THEM THEY'VE BEEN INFECTED (2, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728735)

the glow of reentry is compression heating of the air in front of the meteorite, not the meteorite itself.

Who said it was the meteorite itself that heated the ground water? Compression heating is perfectly capable of it.

Re:DON'T TRUST THEM THEY'VE BEEN INFECTED (1)

ZwJGR (1014973) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728793)

The meteorite doesn't have to be hot to throw a lot of debris and water vapour up into the air.
The meteorite presumably has a significant (relatively speaking) mass and relative velocity to make such a large crater. As the kinetic energy of such a collision is equal to 0.5mv^2, a large v will cause a significant energy transfer upon impact. Much of this goes into tossing debris (including water with arsenic) into the air, and some localised heating, (along with noise, ground tremors, deformations, etc.).
Water thrown into the air and perhaps partially heated, may have a tendency to evaporate/vaporise, along with the constituent arsenic, which presumably in hydrated ion form, will quite happily be suspended in any water droplets in the air.
So that when all the folks from nearby rush in and start hyperventilating when they see the hole, they breath in some arsenic contaminated vapour, which then ends up getting into their lungs and bloodstream, and playing havoc with their internal bits...

Just my extrapolated reading of TFA, + common sense.

Re:DON'T TRUST THEM THEY'VE BEEN INFECTED (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728829)

The arsenic-in-ground-water-converted-to-steam idea is a good one - EXCEPT
that meteorites, when striking, are not hot. They are very, very cold; (
a freshly-fallen meteorite is usually covered with frost); the
glow of reentry is compression heating of the air in front of the meteorite,
not the meteorite itself.

So, in the absence of other evidence, I have to call "bull****" on a "steam
cloud loaded with arsenic" explanation.

- Dr. Crash

Actually, it is only sometimes that a freshly fallen meteorite has frost on it. Other meteorites are "burning hot to the touch" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteorites [wikipedia.org] ). Considering the fact that the majority of meteorites burn up before they reach the Earth's surface it seems obvious that some of them would be hot when they hit. The temperature will vary according to the composition of the meteorite, some will cool because of the loss of heat as more volatile components near the surface of the object vaporize while less volatile parts remain. Others will get hot because the object is made up of materials that are highly conductive of heat and the heat from friction will quickly be conducted throughout the entire object.

Obviously a cover up! :-) (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728053)


All the witnesses have been silenced. The meteor has been taken away. The smoking man pauses, job well done. Arsenic. They'll believe that, before they believe the TRUTH.

/sigh of relief (1)

svtmunk (461967) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728179)

whew... its just the local arsenic tainted water supply...

X-file (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20728247)

i can just see Mulder and Scully booking their flights.

do do de do de dooooo

That is So Cool (1)

trongey (21550) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728387)

I totally want a meteor crater in my back yard. I never get cool stuff like that.

Re:That is So Cool (1)

hjo3 (890059) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729521)

I'll see what I can do.

Am I the only one... (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728395)

Who finds it ironic that, given that the illness was caused by poisonous vapours from the crater, the publicity photo consists of people standing right next to it?

Meteor != Meteorite (3, Informative)

DrMindWarp (663427) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728489)

Meteor's don't impact anything but meteorites do. Perhaps confusingly they leave a meteor crater.

Re:Meteor != Meteorite (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729465)

You know, that's absolutely right. We're always told that anything that hits the ground is a meteorite. So shouldn't a meteorite leave a meteorite crater?

Now just try and get everyone to change their terminology.

That would be like trying the make the U.S. go fully metric.

Re:Meteor != Meteorite (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729911)

Meteor's don't impact anything but meteorites do. Perhaps confusingly they leave a meteor crater.

So let me get this strait: Guns don't kill people, but gunnerites do.
     

Meteor's != Meteors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20729985)

Apostrophes don't pluralize anything but the letter S does.

Actually, that the hole the Dollar makes...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20728493)

when it drops as fast as it has under this government.

I believe our currency has lost a third of its value in the last year. Much more of this and we'll be a third world nation again, like we were 200 years ago!

Steam...from a cold meteor? (2, Funny)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728529)

So how does a meteor, which is usually cold if not frozen, generate a steam cloud large enough to make a whole lot people sick? Numerous websites cover this if you google "meteor hot or cold." Even NASA's website says that the meteor's outer surface usually heats up and ablates, leaving the core still very cold.

There's an alternate theory going around- a Peruvian SCUD missile gone awry [badastronomy.com] , and the fuel (Inhibited Fuming Red Nitric Acid) is what made people sick.

Re:Steam...from a cold meteor? (2, Insightful)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728781)

The amount of heat energy released from a large mass impacting another large mass can be pretty significant.

Re:Steam...from a cold meteor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20728803)

The meteorite itself is cold (except for a very thin surface rind heated during passage through the atmosphere), but the impact releases a huge amount of energy, so it is quite plausible for the ejected material to be frictionally heated. A big enough impact produces molten rock from the target material (impact melt). This one wasn't *that* big, but it is still a decent size, judging by the crater. Tossing the ejecta into the air as a cloud of wet, arsenic-bearing dust probably wouldn't help either.

Re:Steam...from a cold meteor? (2, Informative)

oni (41625) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728873)

Some of the kinetic energy from any impact is converted to heat. Even if the object is made of ice, it's still going to do that. In this case, it released enough KE to boil a bit of water and make the first few people who rushed to the site ill.

But you're right, the meteorite wasn't a glowing hot ball that took days to cool, and boiled water the whole time. This was a quick, flash effect that was over instantly.

Re:Steam...from a cold meteor? (1)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729815)

How about I fire an ice cube into your forehead at high velocity and you tell me if there is any heat generated?

Probably few people will appreciate... (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728921)

... this, but I found it amusing that that they're talking to all these geologists, and then the guy named "Ishitsuka" is an astronomer.

Re:Probably few people will appreciate... (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729615)

Almost a joke in Japanese.

Ishi = rock
Tsuka(u) = To use
Tsuka(i) = A user of...

Ishi-tsuka(i) = User of rocks. You would think a good name for a geologist.

Then again, the infantile amongst us will misread as Ishitsuika = "I crap watermelons"

Not on the Rim (1)

PonyHome (625218) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728939)

Those people are standing well back from the crater. Read the article with a critical eye. It says the crater is forty-two feet wide, and ten feet deep, or about big enough to hold two Chevy Suburbans. There's no way those people in the picture are anywhere near it.

How can this be 'Proved'? (2, Interesting)

PhreakOfTime (588141) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728997)

Wouldnt actually producing the meteorite be proof? Isnt it a little premature to jump the gun with the assumption that the meteorite that was steaming hot causing all this groundwater steam to be produced? When no actual meteorite has been produced. So far, all that has been produced it whats called a 3-inch metallic fragment that CONTAINS iron.

Aside from the fact that meteorites are actually cold when they hit the ground, it just doesnt seem to be a very valid conclusion without any actual evidence to support it. This would fail a 7-th grade science class project on the scientific method. At least it would when I was in 7th grade... is this what passes now?

So to simplify, these are the verifiable facts;
1) There is a big hole in the ground.
2) Something made a big hole in the ground.
2) There were reports of the water appearing to 'boil' in the hole shortly after it was formed.
3) There is arsenic contained in some nearby groundwater aquifers.
4) Water boils when an object that is immersed in it contains ENOUGH specific heat to cause the water to reach its boiling point
5) No meteorite has been shown to exist physically (a 3-inch fragment that simply contains the element iron is not proof)
6) No peer reveiw has been done on the results or fragment claimed by the ONE man from the peruvian govt.

In short, coming to a conclusion of "It was a meteorite" is simply not able to be substantiated by the available evidence. IF numbers 5, and 6 are shown to be non-negative over more time, then and only then could it even be POSSIBLE that this was a meteorite.

Can anyone provide more supporting evidence that fits with the meteorite theory?

Re:How can this be 'Proved'? (1)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729631)

You need to quote your source(s), because your information doesn't match the article and thus severely undermines your argument.

5) No meteorite has been shown to exist physically (a 3-inch fragment that simply contains the element iron is not proof)
6) No peer reveiw has been done on the results or fragment claimed by the ONE man from the peruvian govt.
In short, coming to a conclusion of "It was a meteorite" is simply not able to be substantiated by the available evidence.

From the article:
"Peruvian scientists seemed to unanimously agree that it was a meteorite that had struck their territory"
"Preliminary analysis by Macedo's institute revealed no metal fragments, indicating a rare rock meteorite"
"The samples she reviewed had smooth, eroded edges, Macedo added. "As the rock enters the atmosphere, it gets smoothed out," she said."
"The samples also had a significant amount of magnetic material "characteristic of meteorites," she said."
"José Machare, a geoscience adviser at INGEMMET, said x-ray tests conducted on the samples earlier today further confirmed the object's celestial origins."

Re:How can this be 'Proved'? (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#20730001)

Unfortunately they claimed three meteorite hits in the last few years and they all turned out to be other things?

A Meteorite small enough to make a hold that small would be tiny and would not have enough material if vapourised to affect a large number of people?

e.g. Meteor Crater in Arizona is 1,200m across and was probably formed by a meteorite 50m across

so this hole (42 feet across) would have been formed by a meteorite ~ 2ft across ?

Most of the stuff thrown up in an impact is made of ejecta from the crater not from the meteorite itself....

So arsenic from the ground/groundwater sound good to me ....

Re:How can this be 'Proved'? (1)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729685)

The Minor Planet Mailing List [yahoo.com] members scan the sky every clear night looking for new asteroids and comets. An area of special interest are the near earth objects which could potentially hit us. The consensus of the group is that it wasn't a meteorite that caused the crater. The reasoning is that there were no reports of a pre-impact sonic boom (people under a meteorite's path will typically hear one) and the shape of the crater is wrong. Meteorite impacts form circular craters with uplifted circumferences. This crater is neither circular nor does it show any signs of uplift around the edges.

The more likely candidate is an explosion caused by ground water coming in contact with magma and boiling. The area is known to have experienced similar explosions in the past.

Its the return of the... (2, Funny)

l0cust (992700) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729007)

You guys are so dense. Arsenic this and UFO that. Pffft! Just look at the pictrue in that article. Doesn't it remind of another very VERY famous picture of similar nature? Goddammit! Do you want me to actually explain it? On /.? Really? The link under that pic says "Enlarge this" How is that for a hint?

HE IS BACK!!!

Article is a little loopy... (2, Insightful)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729647)

Excerpts:

"Even as meteorite samples arrived in Lima Thursday for testing, Peruvian scientists seemed to unanimously agree that it was a meteorite that had struck their territory."


How can the scientist unanimously agree (unuusual in itself) if the samples were just arriving?

"Preliminary analysis by Macedo's institute revealed no metal fragments, indicating a rare rock meteorite."


I don't think there has ever been a meteorite in the past with 'metal fragments' if, by that term, they mean an unoxidized form of a metal. Many meterites contain iron, a 'metal,' but it is has always been present in an oxidized form. Maybe they mean that there was a complete absence of metals, oxidized or unoxidized, which would not be at all unusual (and certainly not 'rare). However, in that case, the next part of the article makes no sense:

"The samples also had a significant amount of magnetic material "characteristic of meteorites," she said. "The samples stick to the magnet," Ishitsuka, the astronomer, confirmed. "That shows that there is iron present." "

All in all, the article provides no useful information other than to say that arsenic is present in the groundwater, the arsenic ions were somehow present in significant quantities in the steam clouds created by the meteorite impact, and people inhaled the steam clouds and thereby somehow absorbed a significant amount of arsenic.

time to break out the (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20729699)

arsenic foil hat?

Where's the Lace!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20729809)

... obligatory response
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