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4 Most Ridiculous Theories about the Tunguska Event!

‘I was sitting in the porch of the house at the trading station of Vanovara at 7 a.m. and looking towards the north . . . suddenly the sky appeared like it was split in two, high above the forest, the whole northern sky appeared to be completely covered with blazing fire. At that moment I felt a great wave of heat as if my shirt had caught fire… after a minute, there was a loud bang in the sky, and I could hear a mighty crash. Subsequently, I was fiercely thrown to the ground about 5-6 meters away from the house and for a minute or two I lost my consciousness.”

Farmer Sergei Semenov is only one of the few people who witnessed the Tunguska event on June 30, 1908, and survived. At the time of explosion, he was having a breakfast in trade station of Vanovara, located approximately 40 miles from the epicentre. What actually happened on that day? Early in the morning, on Tuesday 30.th of June 1908, there was a massive explosion in the area of Podkamennaya Tunguska, an unprecedented event uncomparable to anything in our modern history.


Aftermath of the 1908 Tunguska event

Closest seismograph, installed in Irkutsk, 600 miles from the epicentre, recorded strong vibrations lasting more than 60 minutes. Sound wave caused by the event encircled the planet multiple times. More than 800 kilometers away, in the city of Kansk, the noise was so loud that a train engineer stopped his train, thinking that one of the freight cars had exploded, and about 800 square miles of forests were flattened by the shockwave. However, any remnants of the object which caused this event are yet to be found.

According to the widely accepted theory, Tunguska event was caused by an asteroid air-burst on a grandiose scale(similar to 2013 Chelyabinsk event), which produced more than 30 megatons of energy.


Near the epicenter of Tunguska event(2008)

Both existing evidence and majority of scientists support this theory, however, soon after the explosion, incredible amount of other theories appeared, trying to explain the true nature of the Tunguska event. They range from scientifically based theories, supported by solid evidence, to various irrational hypotheses, often fabricated just to get attention. Let’s explore some of the other theories about the Tunguska Event, from scientific to plain ridiculous, and find out what really exploded in Siberia in year 1908.

4.Cometary Air-Burst

”Mathematical models indicate, that Tunguska event was actually caused by an explosion of small comet”, Moscow University professor Samuel Grigoryan claimed in year 1976.”Core of the comet is composed of frozen gasses, ice and cosmic dust. During its passage through the atmosphere, it would be rapidly heated, causing immediate evaporation and explosion. Released energy would correspond to the estimated 40 megatons”.


Visualisation of the Tunguska explosion

Although this theory, first suggested in 1930 by British meteorologist Francis Whipple, explains the strange luminous phenomena observed by the eyewitnesses of the Tunguska event, majority of scientists consider it being very improbable. They often point out that a fragile cometary body ought to have already disintegrated in the uppermost layers of the atmosphere, whilst the object that caused the event apparently remained intact until it reached the lower atmospheric layers.

3.Collision with a miniature black hole, or piece of antimatter

According to many so-called ”experts”, Tunguska explosion was supposedly caused by annihilation, physical process that occurs when a subatomic particle collides with its respective antiparticle of the opposite charge, producing immense amounts of energy. According to this theory, first suggested in year 1941 by Lincoln LaPaz, the Tunguska event was likely caused by the annihilation of a chunk of antimatter colliding with Earth.

Although the antimatter theory explains the observed luminous phenomena, and why no remnants of asteroid or comet were found in the area, existence of such large antimatter chunks is often deemed being teoretically impossible. In addition, annihilation of the alleged chunk of antimatter would probably happen in the uppermost atmospheric levels.


Did a miniature black hole really cause the Tunguska event?

Another speculative hypothesis suggests, that the 1908 Siberian explosion was caused by a small black hole passing through Earth. This hypothesis was first formulated in year 1973 by American scientists Albert A. Jackson and Michael P. Ryan. However, as there was no exit event(second explosion, occuring as the black hole shot out in the North Atlantic), this hypothesis is considered wrong by majority of modern scientists. Other evidence, as dust trails and high-nickel concentrations around the impact area also dismiss this hypothesis.

2.Intervention of Agda, God of Thunder

Akulina, an Evenki woman, who was closer than 20 miles to epicentre at the time of explosion, later reported the event to the scientists: ”A mighty wind flattened our tent, while we had been sleeping. A brilliant ourburst of light blinded us, the wind was breaking trees like they were sticks. As a rising whirlwind lifted us off the ground, I lost conciousness”. After she woke up, she remembers seeking her husband, Ivan, being lifted up by blast, and slammed into one of the remaining upright trees, 130 feet from the remnants of the camp they had slept in. He died few hours later from fractures, shock and blood loss. ”Our reindeers also vanished, and we haven’t found them since”, Akulina also reported.


Group of Evenki people

If we can believe shamans of the Evenki tribe, who lived in the area for thousands of years, Tunguska event was caused by the Agda, the God of Thunder himself. Dissatisfied by the tribal disputes, Agda reputedly sent ”demons with shining eyes and fiery tails”, to punish the disobedient Evenki men.

Of course, we can’t take this explanation seriously. However, the fact remains that immediately after the event, the area was declared sacred and forbidden zone by Evenki tribesmen, who then reportedly expelled or killed dozens of Soviet scientific expeditions that ventured into the area of explosion decades after.

1.UFO Explosion

In year 1956, Russian sci-fi writer Alexander Kazancev published his short novel titled ”The Explosion”, with his own explanation about the true cause of the explosion. According to his version of the story, the Tunguska event was caused by the massive nuclear explosion of an extraterrestrial spaceship.

In year 1945, eleven years before the published the famous story, Kazantsev visited the ruins of the Hiroshima, city devastated by a nuclear explosion. Near the explosion’s epicenter, he noticed still-standing trees, with their leaves and branches ripped off by the sheer force of pressure wave. 6 years later, during his visit to Tunguska, he noticed similar patterns; no crater and standing trees without any branches or leaves. Because of that, he quickly comes to a conclusion; 1908 event had to be caused by a massive explosion, probably of nuclear origin.

File:Tunguska event fallen trees.jpg

Aftermath of the Tunguska explosion, (1929 explosion)

Another thing supporting the nuclear explosion theory are the burn marks on all trees around the epicenter. Forest fire caused by meteor explosion would burn the trees all around, however, marks only on one side indicate concentrated, short-term radiation heat, as during a nuclear explosion.

This hypothesis was further expanded by Valery Uvarov, director of the International UFO Network himself. Quoting his works: ”In northwestern Yakutia in Siberia, in the basin of the Upper Viliuy River, there is a hard-to-reach area, bearing the marks of tremendous cataclysm that took place some 800 years ago. Distributed across this area are mysterious metal objects located deep underground in the permafrost. The last time that this installation shot down a meteor was on 24/25 September last year.”

Read more: Top 10 Mysterious Artifacts



Top 10 Mysteries of History – Part 1!

1.Tunguska Cauldrons

In year 1853, Russian explorer R.K.Maak allegedly discovered a giant, partially submerged metal cauldron in the region of Tunguska. In following decades, more and more reports about these strange objects appeared, however, their exact origin and function remains unknown to the present day.


Drawing of a tilted Tunguska Cauldron

The area where all these cauldrons were found, is today known mostly for the Tunguska event, that happened there in June 1908, and also remains unresolved to this day. Ancient name for this area was Uliuiu Cherkechekh, which translates as “the Valley of Death”.

After the discovery of first cauldrons in 1853, subsequent expeditions in 1922, 1930 and 1936 reported finding more of these objects. According to descriptions, most of them were hemispherical in shape, from 50 to 60 feet in circumference, reddish-silvery in colour, and entirely made of steel. Their walls were about one inch thick, and their edges were ”sharp enough to cut a fingernail”.


Drawing of a submerged “cauldron”

Natives reported that during the winter, they often used the cauldrons as a night shelters because of the unusual warmth radiating from their walls. However, majority of them soon started to exhibit symptoms similar to these of radiation sickness.

Although we have numerous historical reports about these cauldrons, further expeditions from 1950 onwards didn’t manage to find anything. Were the mysterious cauldrons of Tunguska only a deliberate hoax? Or are they still there somewhere, buried deep in the Siberian soil? Only time will show…

2.Baalbek megaliths

Located in the town of Baalbek, Lebanon, exact origin of these giant stones remains unknown to the present day. Also known as the ”trilithons”, they used to form the base of the ancient temple dedicated to god Baal, which, according to archeologists, dates back nearly 8,000 years ago.The original complex was destroyed by ancient Greeks and Romans, during construction of their own temple complex, Heliopolis, however, these giant stones remained, and served as a foundation for the later temples.


Trilithon in Baalbek

Each of the ”trilithon” is around 65 feet(20 m) long, 14 feet(4.3 m) high and 12 feet(3.6 m) wide, weighing around 800 tons. They are among the largest ancient monoliths ever made, however, not the largest.


Stone of a pregnant woman – largest stone monolith in the world

In the quarry nearby lies even more massive building block, sometimes called ”Stone of the Pregnant Woman”, weighing around 1,240 tons. Many historians tried to explain the origin of these stones and the way they were transported, however, none of their explanations gained widespread acknowledgement and acceptance so far.

3.Nazca lines

One of the best known mysteries of the South America, these geoglyphs are located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. The lines were probably made by removing the uppermost layers of the desert soil, uncovering the white bedrock underneath. The largest of these line formations are more than 660 feet(200 m) across, portraying various animals, as hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, sharks, llamas, jaguars and humanoid figures.


Nazca lines – “the Dog”

They were first discovered in 1927 by Peruvian archaeologis, and further examined in years 1940-41 by historian Paul Kosok, who proposed a theory that the lines were created for astronomical reasons; as a markers on the horizon, showing the rising points of the sun and other celestial objects.

There are numerous theories, about how the ancient Indians achieved such a geometric accuracy when making the lines. Numerous scholars have theoretized, that the use of simple tools, mathematics and surveying equipment would be enough to make most of the lines. According to scientists in the University of Kentucky, these lines could be easily reproduced today, without use of any remarkable technology.


Nazca lines – “the Astronaut”

However, their purpose still remains an unsolved mystery. Many experts think that they were representations of constellations, or used for ceremonial purposes.

Alternative theories propose, that the lines were either work of aliens, or that they were drawn to get extraterrestial attention.

4.Saqqara Bird

The Saqqara bird is strange, bird-shaped wooden object, discovered in 1898 during excavation of ancient Egyptian tomb of Saqqara. It has been dated to be manufactured sometimes around year 200 BC. According to majority of archaeologists, the Saqqara bird was probably made as a child’s toy or a weather vane.


Saqqara bird

However, unlike other ancient Egyptian avian sculptures, the Saqqara bird has very unusually shaped tail, and is also legless. This has led to various controversial theories, such as being miniature representation of aircraft or glider. Contemporary Egyptian archeologist and parapsychologist Khalil Messinha has speculated, that the bird has vertical stabilizer on his tail, and its wings were intentionally shaped to resemble those of an aircraft.

In year 1942, enlarged models of the Saqqara Bird were tested in aerodynamic tunnel in an attempt to prove this theory, however, the glide performance was disappointing, and models were completely unstable without additionally added tailplane.

Nonetheless, further research has shown significantly better results. According to Simon Sanderson, Liverpool University aerodynamics expert, the Saqqara Bird could acually fly quite well, if not better than many modern gliders, being capable of producing four times its own weight in lift.

5.Baghdad Battery

One of the most baffling archaelogic discoveries of last 80 years, the Baghdad Battery was found in year 1936 in the village of Khujut Rabu, Iraq.


It was composed of three pieces, a terracotta pot, approximately 5 inches(13 cm) tall, with 1.5 inches wide mouth. The pot contained a cylinder composed of a rolled copper sheet, housing a single iron rod, isolated from the cylinder by plugs. According to available evindence, this artifact has been manufactured in the Sassanid period.

In year 1940, German archaeologist Wilhelm König speculated for the first time, that the Baghdad battery could have been used as galvanic cell, for plating gold onto metal objects. This hypothesis was based on object’s design, and chemical signs of acidic corrosion on all three parts of the artifact, possibly caused by the use of acidic electrolyte.


Diagram of the “Baghdad battery”

However, there are many problems with the interpretation of the artifact as galvanic cell. We don’t have any evidence of alleged Sassanid use of electricity, be it wires, conductors or other electrical equipment. According to majority of modern archeologists, the ”Baghdad Battery” was actually used as a storage jar for sacred scrolls. Acidic corrosion was perhaps caused by decay of the papyrus inside, leaving a slightly acidic organic residue.