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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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RE: Whoa
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2007 2:34:10 PM , Rating: 3
The entire state of California....


RE: Whoa
By zerocool84 on 9/24/2007 2:47:13 PM , Rating: 3
Ouch baby......very ouch


RE: Whoa
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2007 2:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
Sacrifices must sometimes be made for the good of the many....


RE: Whoa
By 16nm on 9/24/07, Rating: 0
RE: Whoa
By thartist on 9/24/2007 9:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
I won't be angry at you, just tell you that the name comes from native people's culture, and it resembles pronunciation of their usual speech. That's it.


RE: Whoa
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2007 10:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
.......what?


RE: Whoa
By ZmaxDP on 9/25/2007 7:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
How about the 5 year old who posted about the lake being named by a five year old... (There is more than one language spoken on this planet last time I checked...)


RE: Whoa
By The Sword 88 on 9/24/2007 2:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
That would work.


RE: Whoa
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2007 3:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
I take it those in California are against this?


RE: Whoa
By Adonlude on 9/24/07, Rating: 0
RE: Whoa
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2007 4:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
Good luck on that one.


RE: Whoa
By rcc on 9/26/2007 6:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
Half of California's problems are caused by those immigrants from mid-western states (c'mon really, it is the mid-east, look at a map) arriving and going nuts in the sunshine. : )


RE: Whoa
By EODetroit on 9/24/2007 3:52:51 PM , Rating: 2
Notre Dame's football stadium.


RE: Whoa
By Arramol on 9/24/2007 4:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
I like how you get modded down for California, but nobody seems to mind about Michael Moore and Jack Thompson.


RE: Whoa
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2007 4:34:04 PM , Rating: 3
Nobody likes them. Even themselves.


RE: Whoa
By BillyBatson on 9/24/2007 6:29:23 PM , Rating: 4
HEY what is wrong with the state of california!? I lova cali.
Now Texas, that is a pretty useless state.


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