Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Peru: first toxic chondrite meteorite
On Saturday afternoon, a meteorite fell in Puno, Peru. It was a chondrite meteorite i.e. one whose composition hasn't changed by melting or differentiation from the early days of the Solar System. People started to touch the glowing rock, believing that it had a monetary value, and began to be sick. Surprisingly, this contact caused them dermal injuries, dizziness, nauseous, or vomitting. So far about 600 people, including some cops, have been influenced. The chief suspected gases are sulphur, sulphur dioxide, chlorine, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide.
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Health officials later determined that the most likely reason of the illnesses were not chemicals but rather scientific consensus, also known as collective psychosis. Jose Ishitsuka, an astronomer, found a piece of magnetized iron on the spot.
Via Benny Peiser.