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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



6 Massive Buildings Which Were Never Built!

1.The Volkshalle

The Volkshalle(”Hall of the People”), was a monumental domed building planned and designed by Hitler’s architect Albert Speer. It would serve as a grand architectural centerpiece for Hitler’s new world capital, Welthaupstadt Germania. However, this project was never accomplished.


Model of the People’s Hall(Volkshalle)

If it was ever built, it would dwarf every other structure in Berlin. The Volkshalle‘s monstrous dome was projected to rise from a massive stone podium 1,033 by 1,033 ft(315×315 m) and 250 ft(75 m) high, to a total height of 950 ft(290 m). It was designed to have a diameter of more than 820 ft(250 m).

Inside the Volkshalle, there would be a massive apse, covered with gold mosaics and enclosing a giant silver statue of eagle 80 ft high, beneath which would be situated Führer‘s tribunal. From here, he would be able to adress more than 180,000 people, seated in three tiers of seats enclosing a giant circular arena, 460 ft(140 m) in diameter.

At the very top of the dome, there would be a giant oculus, 150 ft(46 m) in diameter, that would easily accommodate the entire dome of St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome.


Model of the Welthaupstadt Germania, Volkshalle in the background

The Volkshalle was never built. Many experts claimed that such a large granite dome was structurally impossible. There were also other severe architectural problems, such as acoustics, that would either make it impossible for anybody to hear the speaker, or magnify his voice to a deafening volume.

Albert Speer speculated that during the winter, the breathing and perspiration of more than 100,000 people inside such a large closed space might precipitate and fall back down. In short, it was possible that the hall might have a weather of its own, sometimes resulting in indoor rains.

2.Palace of the Soviets

Similarly to Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union was also known for their monumental architectonic projects. The largest and most gigantic of them, the Palace of the Soviets, was a planned congress hall and administrative centre to be built in Moscow, near the Kremlin.


Palace of the Soviets, final design

The 1,362 feet (415 m) high palace was to be crowned by a monumental statue of Vladimir Lenin, 260 ft(80 m) high. The area of the building was to be more than 11 hectares, and the entire Palace of the Soviets would weigh more than 1,5 million tons. The Main Hall, located in the center of building, would have a capacity of more than 21,000 seats, being more than 525 ft(160 m) in diameter. The gigantic bronze statue of Lenin would weigh more than 6,000 tons, and a library would be located inside of its head.

In the year 1931, the symbol of old Russia – Cathedral of Christ the Savior was demolished to clear the place for the Palace. In year 1937, the foundations were laid and construction of the steel frame started. However, after Adolf Hitler’s invasion to Russia, lack of material and manpower halted the construction for several years, and its steel frame was disassembled to be used in fortifications and bridges.


Cathedral of the Christ the Saviour, rebuilt in year 1995

After the war, the project was abandoned, and foundations of the Palace of the Soviets were converted to the world’s largest open-air swimming pool – the Moskva Pool. In the year 1995, the pool was destroyed and the full-scale replica of Cathedral of Christ the Savior was restored on the same foundations.

3.Phare du Monde

Originally designed for the 1937 World Fair, the Phare du Monde was a 2,300 ft (701 m) tall observation tower proposed to be built in the outskirts of Paris, being only tower in the world fully accessible to cars.


Newspaper advert depicting Phare du Monde, as a “Pleasure Tower Half-Mile High”

It was designed by the French engineer Eugène Freyssinet, and often advertised as a ”Pleasure Tower Half Mile High”. It was designed to be built entirely from concrete, with a 3,5 miles long spiralling road on the outside of the building, all the way to the parking garage for 500 cars at the top.The costs were estimated to have been a mere $2.5 million($41.9 million after adjusting the inflation), however, the tower was never built.

4.Tatlin’s Tower

This giant, surreally looking tower was designed back in 1919 by a Russian architect Vladimir Tatlin.Planned to be erected in Leningrad(now St.Petersburg), the Tatlin’s Tower would serve as the headquarters and monument to the Third Communist International.


Contemporary model of the Tatlin’s Tower(Monument to the Third International)

The tower was planned to be built only from industrial materials: iron, glass and steel, as a symbol of modernity and architectural constructivism. Its main form was a double helix, spiraling up to the height of 1300 ft(400 m). Visitors would be transported around using various mechanical devices.

Main framework of the building was designed to contain four major geometric structures, rotating at different rates of speed. First of them, the cube, would be located at the base of the building. It was designed to be a venue for various conferences and meetings, and would completely rotate after one full year.


On top of the cube, there would be a small pyramid containing executive facilities, making one full turn every month. There would be also a cylinder housing an information centre and news facilities, rotating every day, while the entire structure of the tower would also make one full turn once a year.

Needless to say, it was never built.

5.The Illinois

The Illinois was a one mile(1,600 m) high skyscraper proposed in 1956 by Frank Lloyd Wright himself. If it had been built, it would have been the tallest building in the world, four times taller than the Empire State Building, twice as tall as the Burj Khalifa, and even taller than the Kingdom Tower, which is currently under construction, and will be be at least 3,300 feet(1,000 m) tall when finished.

The Illinois‘s design, intended to be built in the center of Chicago, included 528 floors, with a gross area of 18,460,000 square feet (1,715,000 m2). Frank Lloyd Wright stated that there would be also a parking space for more than 20,000 cars and 180 helicopters.


Frank Lloyd Wright’s drawing of The Illinois

There would be 76 elevators, each being five-floor-high. The elevators would be divided into five groups, with each of them serving a hundred-floor segment of The Illinois, while reaching speeds of more than 60 mph. The highest floor would be accessible by spiral staircase, and served only by one elevator.

Most of the tower’s 528 floors would be used as office space for government and private companies. The top 9 floors would be TV studios, and The Illinois would topped off by a 330 ft(100 m)tall antenna used for nationwide broadcasts.

However, this skyscraper was never constructed. Although it would have been structurally and technically possible to build such a building even at the time it was proposed, the price tag would have been immense, and there were still too many unsolved problems, as possible wind oscillation and fire precautions.

6.X-Seed 4000

The X-Seed 4000, is often considered the tallest structure ever fully envisioned. Designed by architect Peter Neville in year 1995 for the Taisei Corporation, it was proposed to be built near the coast of Tokyo, Japan.

It was projected to rise to a total height of 2.5 miles(4 km), even higher than the Mt. Fuji, with its sea-base being 3.7 miles(6 km) wide. With its 800 floors, it could accommodate more than one million inhabitants. This massive structure was projected to be built using over 3,000,000 tons of reinforced construction steel.

Some estimates say that the possible price tag to construct this structure may be somewhere between $579 billion–$1.04 trillion in 2014.


Depiction of X-Seed 4000

Due to its immense height, the X-Seed 4000 would be required to actively protect the inhabitants of its higher floors from air pressure variations and weather fluctuations. As it was planned to be built on the Pacific Ring of Fire, it would be also often subject to devastating earthquakes and tsunamis.

However, the X-Seed 4000 was actually never meant to be built. The sole purpose of the project was to earn some worldwide recognition for the Taisei Corporation, and it worked.