Tunguska: New study fails to explain what caused a blast equal to 185 Hiroshima Bombs

The biggest explosion in our documented history remains a profound mystery as a new study has failed, yet again, to find the cause of the humongous 1908-Tunguska explosion that flattened over 80 million Siberian trees.

It is still unclear whether the Tunguska event was caused by a comet or asteroid (computer simulation) (Credit: Joe Tucciarone/SPL)
It is still unclear whether the Tunguska event was caused by a comet or asteroid (computer simulation) (Credit: Joe Tucciarone/SPL)

One of the most impressive blasts in recorded history occurred on June 30, 1908, in the Tunguska Region of Siberia, Russia. The massive explosion ripped across the sky flattening nearly everything in a 30-mile radius. The power of the blast was heard a thousand miles away.

According to experts, nearly 10 million trees were floated in the blast and countless charred carcasses of reindeer and other animals were found in the hundreds.

Ever since researcher shave speculated what could have caused this major blast that ripped the sky into two. Many have proposed that a comet or asteroid blazing through Earth’s atmosphere at over 53,913 kilometers per hour caused an explosion equaling 185 Hiroshima Bombs as pressure and heat swiped across the region. Leonid Kulik proposed in 1927 that an asteroid could have created the mighty explosion.

However, the biggest problem with the Asteroid/Comet theory is that no crater nor remains of an Asteroid or Comet have ever been found.

After Kulik, numerous other researchers proposed that a space-object like a comet composed of ice could have been the culprit.

Over 100 year later, researchers have still failed to answer one of the biggest mysteries on our planet. Some scientists even suggested that a ‘black hole’ could have been the responsible phenomenon for the impact. This theory, however, was quickly dismissed due to the lack of scientific evidence.

UFO hunters have speculated that the massive explosion was caused by phenomena which are ‘out of this world.’

Locals had different theories. When the explosion raged across Siberia in 1908, people believed that the event marked the visitation of Ogdy, a god they feared cursed the area.

An eyewitness who was thrown from his chair by the heat blast nearly 100 kilometers from the site of the explosion recalled the event: ‘Suddenly in the north sky…the sky was split in two, and high above the forest the whole northern part of the sky appeared covered with fire,’

‘At that moment there was a bang in the sky and a mighty crash…The crash was followed by a noise like stones falling from the sky, or of guns firing. The earth trembled.’

In the years after the explosion researchers continued their search for the cause of the Tunguska event, some researchers found traces of silicate and magnetite in the soil, containing large traces of nickel.

This finding opened up new possibilities pointing towards a meteor/asteroid explosion as BBC reports.

Recent studies have found that rock samples in the area have traces of meteoric minerals with traces of a carbon mineral called lonsdaleite, however, many scientists warn that these findings do not necessarily explain the explosion, since meteor showers are common in the area, pointing towards the possibility that the samples discovered could be the remains of much smaller objects that went unnoticed.

The lack of an impact crater has been the biggest problem for scientists. However, in 2007, Italian researchers proposed that Siberia’s Lake Cheko  might be the missing impact crater that the object left behind. Sadly, this theory has been disproved as well as the lake is shallow enough to recover any potential remains explains BBC.

A hundred years after the event, the mystery behind the Tunguska explosion remains a profound mystery which countless scientists around the globe have failed to explain –but whatever the object might have been, nearly everyone agrees that the blast was caused by an asteroid or comet slamming into Earth’s thick atmosphere, creating an explosion equal to 185 Hiroshima Bombs.

Journal reference:


Over 100 years after the most powerful explosion in documented history, researchers are still trying to figure out exactly what happened

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      1. Me, too. There’s so many unexplained things in this wondrous world of ours, and beyond!

  1. I can relate to the comet/asteroid thing, but why can’t it be that something large hit our atmosphere at such a tangential angle that it created a large enough pressure wave travelling several times the speed of sound. This super supersonic wave was enough to cause damage and noise and yes, burn furry mammals to death. As far as the comet/asteroid….the tangential angle of impact and speed was enough to penetrate, but not enough to be caught in the gravity and thus, skipped off back into space along a different course.

  2. I saw a doco years ago where guys put match sticks on wire (trees) and used a fire cracker on a guide as the comet, they adjusted the angle of the guide wire and timed the explosion to go off at different times and different angles until they got the same blast pattern as Tunguska, which was a butterfly shape. The angle was like (I’m guessing now) 30° and exploded above the ground.

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