Has anyone been hit by a meteorite?

Has anyone ever been hit by a meteorite? This question is likely to come up when talking to kids about meteors and meteorites, and the answer is, “Yes.”

How likely is a person to be hit by a meteorite? Not very. I don’t have exact statistics on the likelihood of such events right now, but it’s still uncommon. More common, perhaps, is having a house or car being hit. There are examples of each.

In 1954, Ann Elizabeth Hodges, asleep on her living room couch, was hit by an 8-pound meteorite that crashed through the ceiling, bounced off a console radio, and hit her left hip and hand.

In October of 1992, a fireball visible from Peekskill, NY, ended up smashing the back end of a high school student’s car. The car became a traveling museum exhibit.

In 2009, a boy claimed to have been hit by a meteorite, but the news stories seem a little suspect on the details. The Bad Astronomer debunked the fishy details pretty well here, so I won’t go into detail. Let’s just say you can’t always trust everything you read in the news to be completely accurate.

One story I find fascinating is of Radivoje Lajic whose house was hit by meteorites six times within three years. Articles state that the Belgrade University have confirmed that all hits were meteorites. Lajic has since reinforced his roof with a steel girder, paying for it with proceeds from selling one of his meteorites. Because of the small chance of getting hit once in the first place, he is puzzled by having been hit six times. He began to suspect deliberate targeting by extraterrestrials. I imagine it would go something like this…

Aliens targeting man with meteorites for the sixth time.

Anyway, it is possible, but unlikely, that you could be hit by a meteorite. The chances are very slim, so don’t be afraid to go out and watch meteor showers! Sit back, relax, and enjoy. And if one does hit your house, you may be able to sell it for a good price 😉

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