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A view of the massive impact crater.  (Source: Reuters)
The cause of illness from meteorite impact was discovered to be decidedly not out-of-this-world.

A significant cosmic event occurred when a massive meteor struck on September 15th outside the farming village of Carancas, near Lake Titicaca.  The meteor created an imposing eight meter (26-foot) deep, 20 meter (65 foot) wide crater.  Almost immediately the object was ruled to be a meteor and not something of terrestial origin.

The massive crater emitted strange fumes, which made over 30 villagers violently ill, with headaches and nausea.  Reports on the exact number of victims ranged from 30 to "about 200."  Speculations on possible "out-of-this-world" causes were rampant.

Police blocked off the crater, and the villagers were transported to hospitals.

The director of the health ministry in the Puno region, Jorge Lopez, said none of the patients was in serious condition but that they would have to undergo blood and neurological tests as a precaution in three to six months.

Now, a team of Peruvian researchers have determined the true cause -- ground water tainted with arsenic.

The villagers' reactions were the result of inhaling arsenic fumes, according to Luisa Macedo, a researcher for Peru's Mining, Metallurgy, and Geology Institute (INGEMMET), who visited the crash site.

Peru's soil is rich in arsenic deposits and when the meteor hit, columns of steam were created by the heat from the meteor.  This steam bore particles of arsenic, causing the various afflictions.

Villagers described the event as a terrifying experience as they observed the massive flaming ball of rock hurtled at high speed from the skies and the impact scattered debris over a wide radius.  Debris landed on the roof of the closest house,
390 feet from the crater, but no fires were reported to be caused by the debris.

The medical mystery of the meteor and its solution goes to show that there are practical explanations for many "out-of-this-world" phenomena.  The event also was a significant cosmological event, as it marks one of the largest meteor impacts in recent years.  For now, the people of Carancas, probably just want to never see another meteorite again.

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Solved mysteries
By oTAL on 9/24/2007 2:15:54 PM , Rating: 3
The most elegant mystery I have ever heard of began with a family dispute in which one of the families involved was cursed - and thus 'The Curse' was born.

'The Curse' would attack the family from time to time. Most often, members of the family would suddenly die in a car accident, while driving to the family estate, alone, through a wide straight road. This road was surrounded by ancient trees, and there was no explanation as to why the driver would just suddenly drive against one of those. 'The Curse' lasted for many decades unexplained and claimed several lives.

The first clue to offer an explanation was that the accidents always happened at around the same time - sunset.

Check for the answer on the next comment... ;)

RE: Solved mysteries
By oTAL on 9/24/2007 2:22:36 PM , Rating: 3
The answer was a medical one.
There was a genetic trait in the family which was transmitted through the generations.

When driving through that road, at a given speed, when the Sun was setting, an intermittent light pattern was created that provoked epileptic seizures on susceptible persons. Those can be pretty nasty when you are driving surrounded by large trees... and thus 'The Curse' would claim another life...

Hope you guys like this one... I'd like to give credit but I don't know the origin. I believe it is a true tale.

RE: Solved mysteries
By Bladen on 9/25/2007 4:49:02 AM , Rating: 2
Here I was thinking that "The Curse" referred to lycanthropy. However, it is also referred to as "The Gift" by some, but those that do are usually werewolves.

RE: Solved mysteries
By oTAL on 9/25/2007 7:27:58 AM , Rating: 2
it is also referred to as "The Gift" by some, but those that do are usually werewolves.

You should get out more....

RE: Solved mysteries
By Bladen on 9/27/2007 6:19:44 AM , Rating: 2
Ahh, it was a joke...

RE: Solved mysteries
By winterspan on 9/30/2007 2:13:33 AM , Rating: 2
that was a great story!

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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