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An explosion that shook the world

The year was 1908. Sitting on the front porch of Vanuatu's shop in Siberia, it was the man who received it all, a little after 7 am. A few minutes later, however, he would be thrown from the chair and felt a strong heat like never before. The reason for that was the Tungus event. And that man was almost 65 miles from zero.

Around 7.15 am on June 30, 1908, a powerful explosion occurred over a remote forest in Siberia near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River. Thousands of people in the radius of over 1,000 km could witness this event, and hundreds of accounts were collected afterwards.

He felt far and wide

Fires of the size of the sun, or even greater, numerous explosions followed by the rickety and shattering Earth were part of the report. Seismic and atmospheric waves have been recorded at various stations in Europe, including far from U.K. Strange phenomena have been recorded in the night sky over Russia and the greater part of Europe in the coming days, ranging from shadows to bright midnight.

The Tunguska event has impoverished 2,000 km2. forest area, dropping 80 million trees, because they were flattened, lying in a radial pattern. Hundreds of people died, and it is certain that another fauna is definitely hit. Strangely, however, there were no officially reported human victims.

Kulik explores

While some newspapers reported on the alleged impact of meteorites, others also speculated on the volcanic eruption, as the consequences observed at night were similar to those following the Krakato eruption of 1883. The inability of the region, coupled with the political climate in Russia (which was with the First World War and the Russian Revolution behind the Corners), meant that scientific research for the region's research was not immediately realized.

Only in 1927 the Russian mineralogist Leonid Kulik finally went to the area. Taking interest in the region after reading some news reports, Kulik first conducted the 1921 expedition that failed because of the harsh conditions. When he arrived at that place, almost 20 years after the event, the damage was still visible.

In addition to the large, flat tree, Kulik and his team found trees, such as pillars on the nose – upright but deprived limbs and bark. This kind of debranching occurs when high impact waves break branches of trees, long before branches have the chance to convey the impulse of impact on a tree.

The power of 185 atomic bombs

Such fragmented trees were also found at the site of another massive explosion that occurred 37 years after the events in Tunguski – Hiroshima, Japan. The Tungus event, in fact, produced the energy equivalent of about 185 atomic bombs in Hiroshima, making it the most powerful in our history.

Kulik's expedition – three times traveling to Tungusko – helped him explore the whole area and gather witness testimony to hundreds of locals, including a man who was at a Vanavari shopping mall. What he did not find was, however, the impact craters. Kulik and his team did not find a large crater or any kind of meteorite material as the remains of that place.

Numerous theories

Kulik suggested that the meteor exploded in the atmosphere, causing the observed fireball and the destruction that followed. The lack of solid data to reveal the identity of the explosion meant that a number of alternative theories followed.

Instead of a meteor, it was suggested that comets explain the absence of residues as comets made of ice and dirt, unlike meteorite rocks. Nuclear explosions of extraterrestrial origin, a small black hole that collides with Earth, matter and antimatter that collide with each other were some of the stranger explanations that were made. Verneshotovi – a hypothetical mixture of magma-gases that bursts out of the underworld and is named after French author Jules Verneu from the movie "The Earth's Way to the Earth" – have also been suggested in recent times.

Research continues

The most descriptive explanation for the event in Tungus remains a great cosmic body, such as a meteor or comet, which collides with Earth's atmosphere. But as long as there is no convincing evidence, the researchers will continue to provide more theories, however weird.

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