A French woman says she was struck by a falling space rock earlier this month in an incident that occurred outside her home in the village of Alsace, Eastern France.
The object, a pebble-sized space rock, reportedly struck her in the ribs on July 6, 2023, as she sat on her terrace talking with a friend over coffee.
Although the space rock was small, it struck her in the torso with enough force that she initially mistook it for a small bird or bat before locating it nearby.
The object, which resembled a small, colorless fragment of cement, was later verified as having been a meteorite by geologist Thierry Rebmann, composed primarily of iron and silicon.
The incident was first reported in the French newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace.
Each day, Earth is bombarded by an untold number of tiny bits of space rock, most of which burn up as they move through our planet’s atmosphere. Meteorites are space rocks that are large enough that they aren’t completely destroyed during reentry and eventually make their way to the ground.
While meteorite falls aren’t necessarily rare occurrences, it is less common for them to be recovered once they make their way to Earth, especially in regions like France. Currently, there are only five recorded meteorite landings that have occurred in the country since 2000.
Even rarer are the cases where meteorites strike people, although it has happened before in the past.
The only other known instance involving an individual who was struck by a meteorite occurred on November 30, 1954, when 34-year-old Ann Hodges was napping on a couch in her home in Sylacauga, Alabama. She was subject to a rude awakening at 2:46 p.m. when an 8.5-pound space rock came hurtling through her ceiling, ricocheting off a radio nearby and colliding with her torso.
Fortunately for Hodges, she had been lying wrapped in several blankets, which managed to provide some shielding from the impact. Hodges still developed a massive…