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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: Coverup!
By winterspan on 9/30/2007 2:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think ANYONE particular enjoys the government distributing social services to people who don't need them. However, those who are physically disabled or have mental illnesses SHOULD be taken care of, just as we (well maybe not anymore with the Bush admin) support our injured war veterans. Honest, hard-working, normally self-sufficient people SHOULD be helped out if they lose their job and can't support their family. Should the receive an unlimited amount of free money? No. Should they receive unemployment (which they paid into) while they are struggling to find a new job? YES.
I could go on and on. The point is many people tend to fall into the 'moderate' or 'independent' political category because for most issues, there is usually a moderate, common-sense solution.

Most of what you wrote in your post is regurgitated, long-standing, ignorant misconceptions and false arguments that have persisted in the intolerant and uneducated areas of the country.

What I take offense to however is your characterization of hate crime statues as "horribly flawed". Your reasoning that because there exists no "kind crimes", therefore, "hate crimes" shouldn't exist is so fundamentally flawed I am not even going to attempt a response.

My response to your comment about "blacks that think white people owe them something" would simply be - do you have any friends who are black? I think you should get to know a few before spouting stereotypes in public forums.

And finally, about parents being responsible for their kids "being dumb"... I am going to leave that one alone as obviously you have much more experience with that issue than anyone else on this website...


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