Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Meteor Strike At Pure Florida HQ!

Yesterday a small meteorite struck the back forty of PFHQ!!!

By now you may have already heard about this on CNN or MSNBC as they both sent representatives out to our little "starstruck" bit of Florida. We are quite the celebrities ... after all, how many people have meteorites strike their property?

I remember along time ago reading about a woman lying on her couch who was struck by a small meteorite that crashed through her ceiling. What are the odds?

Lucky for us, no one was standing around in the vicinity when the space rock actually struck our place. One of the UF professors that came out to investigate said the shock wave would be devastating even on a small rock like this one.


The picture above shows the impact crater and the classic ejecta patterns caused by the impact.

The UF nerds said that since the meteorite struck a big turkey oak first, the impact crater was a little smaller than expected, but the also added that the deep sands probably absorbed much of the impact force.
The black material in the hole is burnt carbonized something and bits of glass that formed as the sand melted under the intense heat of the strike.

I took this picture before the scientists and media arrived, but after the meteorite had cooled enough to touch. You can see the pitted, heat blasted surface caused by entering our dense atmosphere at 30,000 miles per hour.

Only 100 feet to the East and it would have flattened our house.


I have 3 videos, that I shot yesterday. They are a little long and I apologize for the loading time, but I wanted to document the event and share it with the world.

Video number one is the actual discovery video. I had heard a very loud noise an hour or so before this, but assumed it was blasting at some lime rock quarry in the vicinity. The odd thing was that my wife had heard it too, even though she was 10 miles away at the time.
She called about it, but I couldn't explain it either. After talking to her, I took the camera and the old dogs and went out to video tape some nature scenes for the blog.

This is what happened ...

video

After discovering the crater, I was pretty excited and still not really comprehending what had happened.
I knew I had to document it while it was fresh though, so I began filming and describing what I saw. It was pretty easy to figure out the trajectory by looking at the damaged turkey oak tree and the ejecta patterns at the crater.

video


Later, after the rock had cooled, I slipped down into the crater and touched it. It was still very warm, but holdable, so I laid it next to my shop measuring stick and recorded the video below.

video


After filming the last video, I carefully placed the meteorite back in the hole before all the experts arrived. I thought I was pretty clever, but the space scientists from UF gave me a hard time about trampling the scene and erasing evidence ... as if it was a crime scene or something. I reminded them they were on MY property and guests for only as long as I deemed they qualified for that status.

That shut them up.

So, what happens next?

My plan is to make a display mount for the meteorite and place it atop my new cypress mantle in the living room.
The nerds assured me it was safe, not radioactive or full of pulsating slime creatures from planet Z.
They really, really wanted to take it for tests and I will eventually allow that, but I'm going along to make sure that I get it back and not some switcheroo replica.

I'll update you as I learn more about it, but for now ... keep watching the skies.

61 comments:

tai haku said...

Awesome! Totally awesome!

tai haku said...

or did you just fool me with the most elaborate April 1st blog post to date?

Stacy said...

I, personally, call April Fool's Day BS. :)

ChrisC and JonJ said...

I swear I can see Swamp Thing running away in the first video!

Sandcastle Momma said...

You have outdone yourself on this one!
Do you lay awake at night thinking these things up or do they just come to you? LOL

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, sounds a bit bogus to me. But what do I know? Sure that's not Bear "ejecta patterns"??!!

Patti

Susan Rose said...


Maybe God was thinking, "I'll have some fun with FC today."

I can tell you're excited about this. I would be too. Just be glad that you're awe-struck instead of simply "struck." (I couldn't resist.)

It's kind of sobering to realize there's no way you could see this coming and jump out of the way.

Whew! You sure lead an interesting life. :)

threecollie said...

Hmmmmm, check the calendar. lol

no1uno said...

In ur house - stealin ur meteor.

roger said...

is that one of pablo's rocks?

Anonymous said...

That is too cool!!

Woodie

Deb said...

That looks suspiciously like one of Pablo's round rocks. ;)

kevin said...

I want to see the video of the aliens when they come out. Or when the radioactivity turns everyone at PFHQ into mutants (you know you can't believe the nerds).

Sayre said...

Wow - it looks like a little tiny planet! Very cool! And I'm glad no one got hurt...

Pablo said...

Imagine if that meteorite had gone down 80 feet and hit the geoplasmic reticulum formation. You could have another oil well on your property.

CHEF TROLL said...

I thought April Fools from the start. But in case it's true, did the MSNBC reporter blame Bush for the meteorite?

Sharon said...

WHOA...either God HAS smiled on you, (knowing how much you would LOVE for this to happen on your place)or a very clever FC took advantage of a lightning-struck oak tree and staged the scene with Fred Flintstone's bowling ball! LOL, either way, I love it :)

Sharon said...

Ok, after watching the evidence a second time, you DO sound very excited. Hmmm...if you haven't seen "Joe Dirt" you should, and watch out for Space Peanuts!!! LOL

Sharon said...

Please forgive, I SO can't resist...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtm8w3o63AA

cinnamonbite said...

"Beware of the Blob!"

swamp4me said...

Pablo must have one heck of an arm to lob that round rock all the way from Missouri ;)

elpbulls said...

Hey Papa! Thats soo amazing!! I am so glad my friday class is cancelled so I can come home early and see it! No ones gonna believe you because of the date (bad timing). All of my friends have been calling me telling me they saw my house on TV!! AWESOME!! Hope it doesnt turn out like an episode of twilight zone!! xoxox

kathy a. said...

well done! my suspicions are: [1] you're just standing back with some weird thing burning there right near the house -- and so are the dogs; [2] it kinda looks like it is nested in a hunk of burned leaves, even though teh surroundings show sand tossed out; [3] and then you switch from CSI/PFHQ mode to "it fell on my property, and those darned professors are not going to take it away." i say we bronze it.

Anonymous said...

We were just surpeised there wasn't a leg and foot uner it! Well done, FC!
Thunder and Lightnin

Cathy said...

I stumbled over here from 3 Collie's and fell right in . . .

  said...

Another spherical spring sign!

I like the suggestion that you bronze it.

-lesle

Cathy S. said...

Happy April Fools to you, too!

jojo said...

dammit FC you have me looking up CNN,meteor strike... ha. you got me good...

lol....hook,line and stinker. totally forgot its april 1...

rick said...

definitly a piece of the planet cantalope

Anonymous said...

FC & Co. ... Jeannie and I are longtime April Foolers (35 years to be exact), but you really had me going for a minute. GREAT job. ... Chris

Anonymous said...

genius....sheer genius-corinne

debbie said...

Strange . . . I just did a search on both CNN and MSNBC. The CNN site brought up Pure Florida, the MSNBC site had nothing. Pretty good April Fool's joke. You had me going there for a few minutes.

KLS said...

Wow, that is SO COOL!!!
Thanks for documenting everything and sharing it.

Pam Aries said...

Oh ...I thought it really happened! Until I read the comments!!!! You are Good! and I am gullible..mwaahahah

kathy a. said...

well? are you going to fess up, or tell us we are fools for disbelieving you, or what?

Anonymous said...

Well, not sure what to believe. I can't watch the video's on dial up. A meteror caught my cousin's property on fire and burned down his barn almost his house. They found a small meterorite on his place.

Cathy S. said...

I just heard on the news you have a severe weather watch in your area tonight. Stay safe. Thinking of you.

Alan said...

I'm leaning to April Fools prank - albeit a very well planned one if so. :)

Hurricane Teen said...

I love FC's April Fool's jokes!!
I gotta say, last year's had me going, but you didn't fool me for a second this time around :-D
Awesome post!

Hurricane Teen said...

P.S., F.C,

I just had a gigantic, CERNE-scale, run-in with Ms. Sarah N. Dipity here at school tonight. I'll shoot you an email about it and maybe even write a little blog post about it :-D

Ericka said...

you had me right up until you touched it. i really don't think you'd handle something, especially something that looks like an egg, that quickly.

  said...

After looking at the photographs again, I'm reminded that Turnip Day is July 26.

There is, to my knowledge, no Parsnip Day.

Freste said...

If that thing had come from some orbit of somewhere, and plopped itself in your yard, I'm sure it would have made a bigger plop zone than it did, plus you wouldn't have been able to pick it up for about a month, plus you being the nature person you are, wouldn't just go and grab the thing to add to the "things I shouldn't have done" thread, plus there are several details left out if something this phenomenal actually did happen. I'm a skeptical disbelieving, non-accepter of all written word.

Anna said...

That looks like a miniature moon.
Anna :)

Prem Subrahmanyam said...

Wow...I was swallowing it hook, line, and sinker until I saw the date of the post. It is rather suspicious that a meteor that came in at such a low angle that it broke the tree trunk would leave a perfectly round crater with ejecta all around, as opposed to an oblong crater with ejecta primarily to one side...

Good one!

---Prem
Florida Native Orchids Blog

Robert V. Sobczak said...

After copious research, I have determined that is in fact not a meteorite, but an alien strike gone awry, and/or an April Fool's joke. The give away for me was the limestone meteorite. But still, brilliant post ... and pure fun!

openspacerestoration said...

Good One you had me, I read the "hole" thing and then went back to see what date you wrote it. Very good, not so fair to new visitors, but great fun.

Bart
Open Space Restoration

Dave Coulter said...

Cantaloupe 1
Turkey oak 0

:)

Floridacracker said...

What's not to believe folks?
heehee

Such skeptics!

I suppose you will all be a tougher crowd next April.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, great post, the smoke is a nice touch.

kathy a. said...

a healthy dose of scientific skepticism is good for the mind, eh. how often do you and your colleagues remind students to check their facts and/or do the research, to not take everything they read for granted?

although, i thank you for keeping the factual foolishness to this one day. :)

Kimberlee said...

Holy Cow! I miss a few days and you go and have yourself an encounter with extra-terrestrial object! That'll teach me! I CAN'T WAIT to show the students that I share your blog with. They'll be WAY impressed.

It's really a good thing that the meteor landed on YOUR property and not mine. I'd have said something like..."Gee, there's a big hole in the ground." And that would be about it! :)

I hope you'll share the findings of any tests they do. I am very interested in knowing what the rock is made of.

Great reporting, FC!

ldybug said...

thank you again!!!

thingfish23 said...

You were quite foolish to handle that meteorite. Haven't you seen Creepshow? You might end up covered in itchy plants now!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKczmKoTPuM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vFuvkNMndg

How's yer Espanol?

(The captcha word for this comment: DRATCH)

tsiya said...

Wow, you just never really know what's coming! I sure am glsd it missed Y'all!

Bill said...

Okay you got me.
GRRRRRRR!
Never again though.
Billy.

tsiya said...

My faith in humanity has been shattered, forever!

Lady Jane said...

Fascinating!

Floridacracker said...

I am allowed to joke around on April Fools Day aren't I?

Sharon said...

Heck yeah!! If not then, when? :)

(I am in awe of your April foolishness)

;)

Lady Jane said...

God I'm gullible! (It didn't even click when I googled the news outlets mentioned.. to find NO news).

Good one FC!