Researchers in Turkey have found the earliest evidence of a person being struck and killed by a meteorite. The discovery of this fatal encounter with a space rock was made while searching through state archives.
According to a study published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science, the team discovered three separate official papers describing that the incident, which killed one person and left another paralyzed, took place on August 22, 1888 in a village in Sulaymaniyah in what is now Iraq.
Claims of people being killed and injured by meteorites do exist in history. However, not one of those narratives was substantiated by clear and convincing proof such as this event, which has been further validated by evidence of a report to the reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Abdul Hamid II.
Not too long ago, in 1954, a resident of eastern Alabama, Ann Hodges, was hit by a meteorite the size of a softball. The woman was asleep in her living room when the meteorite pierced through her ceiling and struck her thigh. She sustained a minor injury.
And even more recently, in 2009, a 14-year-old German boy was grazed in the hand by a pebble-sized meteorite. The boy wasn’t seriously injured, but it did leave a scar.