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Sorry, Internet. It Turns out That Video of a Meteorite Falling Past a Skydiver Was Just a Rock

"I got a meteorite!" "I got a rock."


Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 2.13.49 PM

Last week, there was a video flying around the Internet of what geologists and members of the Norwegian Meteor Network thought was a meteorite in “dark flight” nearly hitting a skydiver. Unfortunately for our hopes and dreams, they’ve now concluded with their crowdsourcing effort that it was just a rock. Thanks a lot, Internet.

The video was initially recorded back in 2012 by Anders Helstrup of the Oslo Parachute Club and later brought to the Natural History Museum in Oslo. From there, geologists and meteor hunters tried to study the video for clues and find the rock on the ground to no avail.

Recently, they expanded their search to the Internet and opened themselves up to crowdsourced help in analyzing the footage and hunting down the rock’s location on the ground. Unfortunately, according to a post on the Norwegian Meteor Network website by Steinar Midtskogen, those working on the case received all the help they needed, and it turned out that it just wasn’t a meteorite.

[We] decided to go public with what we had and at the same time invite anyone to have a go at the puzzle. The story was announced here on the web pages of the Norwegian Meteor Network, where we expressed our hope that it would go viral and scrutinised for something that we might have missed, and the result was beyond our expectations.

Let’s get straight to the conclusion. The good news: The crowdsourcing was a success. The bad news: There is no meteorite. It was a rock accidentally packed into the parachute.

So, if you already weren’t a fan of crowdsourcing, it has now crushed our hopes and dreams of what would’ve been the world’s first footage for a meteorite in its post-burn-up, dark flight phase. Maybe next time someone gets a video like this it’ll be the real thing, but this time, all we got was a rock.

(via Universe Today, image via It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown)

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.