Ok, well there haven’t been any aliens sited yet. A meteorite has left a 66 foot crater in Peru and dozens have fallen ill, several requiring oxygen and claiming to feel dizziness, scratchy throats and other ailments.
Witnesses told of a fiery ball falling from the sky and smashing into the desolate Andean plain near the Bolivian border at the weekend. Officials have said it was a meteorite.
Jorge Lopez, director of the health department in the state of Puno, said 200 people have suffered headaches, nausea and respiratory problems caused by “toxic” fumes from the resulting crater, which is about 66 feet wide and 16 feet deep.
Meteors hurtling towards Earth have inspired movies and fascinated storytellers
“This is caused by the gas they have inhaled after the crash,” Mr Lopez said.
“People are scared,” he said.
Villagers went to the site after hearing a crash that they thought might be an airplane.
Now they fear the meteor may be contaminating water supplies as well, and could present a danger to livestock.
“We ourselves went near the crater and now we’ve got irritated throats and itching noses,” Mr Lopez said.
Eight doctors had been sent to investigate and treat the sick.
But expert Ursula Marvin cast doubt on the theory, saying: “It wouldn’t be the meteorite itself, but the dust it raises.”
A meteorite “wouldn’t get much gas out of the earth,” said Ms Marvin, who has studied them since 1961 at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Massachusetts. “It’s a very superficial thing.”
Possible theories as to the illness include mass hysteria, when people under the right circumstances will believe pretty much anything.
Albeit a remote possibility we may have been invaded, or some allege that we are the victims of a weapons of mass destruction. So we should either invade Peru, the scientology building in Hollywood or both.
Whatever you do remain calm, while you stock up on shotguns and build a shelter in your basement and ride this thing out, for at least as until Paris Hilton gets arrested again or one week, whichever comes first.
Although try and look on the bright side, anything is better than seeing Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning for two hours…