The Huge Unexplained Explosion From Tunguska - History Key

The Huge Unexplained Explosion From Tunguska

An incredible, huge explosion known as the Tunguska event, happened in 1908, near the Stony Tunguska River, in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.

Hard to explain the dimension of the explosion, but we can tell you that the Tunguska event is considered the largest event related to an impact force on Earth, that has been reported in recorded history.

An impact event, even though no impact crater has been found

The day of impact is June 30, 1908. An incredible explosion shook the earth and ripped the sky over a remote Siberian forest. A giant fireball was spotted above the earth, having an estimated size of 50-100m wide, so big that 2,000 square km of forest were totally erased at the moment of impact. Imagine 80,000 million trees simultaneously put to the ground.

Map with the location of the “Tunguska event”
Map with the location of the “Tunguska event” ©

The area where the blast happened was mostly inhabited, and that was a lucky fact, considering that the explosion was so powerful that windows were smashed at over 60km away, in the nearest villages. The residents of the villages located in not the immediate surroundings felt the heat coming from the blast.

There are no official reports related to casualties provoked by the event, only details related to hundreds of carbonized reindeers.

It would be very hard to imagine what happened on that day and it would be even more hard to imagine that the Tunguska event blast produced 185 times more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, causing seismic movements which were felt even in the UK.

“Those trees acted as markers, pointing directly away from the blast’s epicenter. Later, when the team arrived at ground zero, they found the trees standing upright – but their limbs and bark had been stripped away. They looked like a forest of telephone poles.”  Don Yeomans – NASA

A witness located at the Vanara trading post, directly experienced the Tunguska blast, being launched from his chair; this is his account related to the event, recorded in 1921:

“Suddenly in the north sky… the sky was split in two, and high above the forest the whole northern part of the sky appeared covered with fire… At that moment there was a bang in the sky and a mighty crash… The crash was followed by a noise like stones falling from the sky, or of guns firing. The earth trembled.”

The epicenter of the Tunguska explosion nowadays
The epicenter of the Tunguska explosion nowadays ©

The effects related to the explosion seem to be well defined, but the cause of the blast is still being discussed.

The most adopted explanation related to the Tunguska event is connected to the air burst coming from a meteoroid, but the strange fact is that no impact crater was found, neither fragments of the object.

Ogdy was furious

During 1921, 19 years after the explosion, the first dedicated expedition was organized, led by Leonid Kulik, the chief curator of the meteorite collection of the St. Petersburg Museum. At the beginning, he had some difficulties in gathering testimonies from the local witness, mostly because the locals believed that the blast was caused by a visit of the God Ogdy, who “had cursed the area by smashing trees and killing animals”, as Don Yeomans said.

We will quote again Don Yeomans in relation to the official causes of the blast:

“A century later some still debate the cause and come up with different scenarios that could have caused the explosion,” said Yeomans. “But the generally agreed upon theory is that on the morning of June 30, 1908, a large space rock, about 120 feet across, entered the atmosphere of Siberia and then detonated in the sky”

The lack of a crater related to the impact point, and of any remains coming from the meteorite, made everything mysterious for many. During his expedition, Kulik suggested that the lack of an impact crater was related to the fact that most probably an extraterrestrial meteor had exploded in the atmosphere, while the muddy soil from the area should have swallowed any meteoric remnants.

Kulik did not abandon the hope of finding any meteoric remains, as he wrote in his conclusions related to the case, dated 1938:

We should expect to encounter, at a depth of hardly less than 25 meters, crushed masses of this nickeliferous iron, individual pieces of which may have a weight of one or two hundred metric tons.”

A later explanation, coming from the Russian researchers, was built around the idea that the blast was not caused by a meteor, but by a comet. Considering that comets are made mostly of ice, the lack of further evidence could have been explained.

Among other explanations, there was the idea that the blast could have been caused by the collision between matter and antimatter, or that an alien spaceship crashed on Earth while searching for fresh water in the Lake Baikal area.

Simulation of a blast above earth surface
Simulation of a blast above earth surface © UFOInternationalProject


Further investigations were made in 1958 when a new expedition team managed to recover some small remnants of silicate and magnetite from the soil. The recovered remnants were rich in nickel, which is a well-known composite of meteoric rock.

Researchers looking after remnants coming from the blast
Researchers looking after remnants coming from the blast ©

An investigation led by Victor Kvasnytsya in 2013, concluded that the samples collected during the previous expeditions are of meteoric origin, considering that “traces of a carbon mineral called lonsdaleite, which has a crystal structure almost like a diamond.” This particular mineral is known to form when a graphite-containing structure, such as a meteor, crashes into Earth.

“Our study of samples from Tunguska, as well as research of many other authors reveals meteorite origin of Tunguska event. We believe that nothing paranormal happened at Tunguska” – Victor Kvasnytsya

Therefore, is nothing paranormal at Tunguska.

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