French Woman Hit by Apparent Meteorite While Relaxing on Her Terrace

The enigmatic item will be examined to see whether it truly has extraterrestrial origins.

On July 6, a woman in the French town of Alsace was struck by a little item as she was speaking with a friend on her patio. The black-and-gray concretion looked like a meteorite upon closer examination.

The Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace published the news first. The item impacted the woman in the ribcage hard enough to damage her, according to The Weather Channel.

If true, it would be one of the most unusual cases of a human being struck by a meteorite—at the very least, one of the rare cases in which the victim survived to prove it happened. The most well-known incident occurred in 1954 when a woman in Alabama was severely injured by a meteorite that entered her house through the roof.

An overview of the terminology is as follows: Earth-bound meteorites are shattered pieces of space rock and metal. Rock and metal fragments fall as meteors. Large space rocks and metal objects called asteroids are frequently the cause of meteor showers on Earth.

Such debris frequently falls from space. In fact, a group of scientists predicted last year that the Earth receives more than 5,000 tons of asteroid and comet dust each year. The fact that the material actually survives the fall is something that is quite unusual; most bigger quantities disintegrate when they heat up in the Earth's atmosphere.

A possible meteorite struck the roof of a New Jersey house earlier this year. A unique meteorite from the year 2021 fell to Earth on a road in the English Cotswolds. In addition, a meteorite that landed in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013—ten years ago already!—broke windows and injured hundreds of people, but no one was killed. The biggest meteorite to strike Earth this century was the one from Chelyabinsk.

In addition to the intrinsic worth they have when they're periodically auctioned off, fallen meteorites can be of scientific interest since they can be billions of years old, i.e., they date to the birth of the solar system.

The fact that a meteor impacts a human instead of any other place on Earth is even more unusual. Researchers looking through Ottoman Kurdistan's records in 2020 discovered evidence that a falling meteorite killed one person and disabled another in 1888.

Those incidents "precede the famously massive Tunguska explosion of 1908, which may have killed two people, and are more evidence-based than a 1677 Italian manuscript from Italy—which even NASA cites—in which an Italian monk was killed by a stone "projected from the clouds," according to Atlas Obscura at the time.

To be hit by a space rock, every circumstance needs to be disastrous. However, in contrast, this Alsatian woman now has a boasting privilege that no one else on Earth does (pending verification that the object is a meteorite and not a commonplace object).