October 16, 2004

Comet hits Europe in 200 BC?

I'm having a problem with this.

A comet or asteroid smashed into modern-day Germany some 2,200 years ago, unleashing energy equivalent to thousands of atomic bombs, scientists revealed.

That should say 'theorized' instead of 'revealed'.
Colliding with the Earth's atmosphere at more than 43,000 kms (27,000 miles) per hour, the space rock probably broke up at an altitude of 70 kms (43 miles), they believe.

The biggest chunk smashed into the ground with a force equivalent to 106 million tonnes of TNT, or 8,500 Hiroshima bombs.

"The forest beneath the blast would have ignited suddenly, burning until the impact's blast wave shut down the conflagration," the investigators said.

"Dust may have been blown into the stratosphere, where it would have been transported around the globe easily... The region must have been devastated for decades."

Now, this is the heart of Europe we're talking about, and even though it's a couple hundred years before Christ, this area isn't unpopulated. I find it hard to believe that an event of this magnitude wouldn't live on in lore or folktales. I've never heard anything that even hints at it.

I can certainly believe that a comet or meteor hit that area, but it's their timeline that I question. Make the impact a thousand or two years earlier, and the lack of historical references makes more sense to me.

Posted by Ted at October 16, 2004 04:44 AM
Category: SciTech

You're right--I think the Romans and Greeks and Egyptians might have noticed that it seemed a little dusty up north...

Maybe you missed the part where the scientists said that it was George Bush's fault for not signing Kyoto....

Posted by: Susie at October 18, 2004 11:16 AM

The Romans weren't in modern-day Germany at the time. They avoided the Alps and eventually (much later than 200 BC) moved west to Spain and France and up the the British Isles.
The Germanic regions were persona non Romana.

The region was inhabitited by uncivilized tribes who had no written history. A natural catastrophe like the one described sounds like it should have been remembered, though,... and maybe it WAS for a while.

But maybe it was just too BIG an event to be taken seriously by the Romans.
It does seem strange that such an event would seemingly go unrecounted in folklore for the centuries that followed. But, then again, maybe it just got lost in the shuffle of meaningful lore just because of it's unbelievability.

I dunno. *?shrug?*

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 18, 2004 11:35 PM
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