On June 30, 1908 an explosion tore through Podkamennaya Tunguska Russia. Almost one hundred years later, scientists still have no conclusive evidence as to what caused the explosion.
One sunny morning in June of 1908, an explosion the equivalent of 1,000 Hiroshima bombs occurred above central Siberia, in the remote Tunguska region. For almost a century, theories have come forth for everything from an alien vessel explosion to an anti-matter annihilation. With no conclusive evidence to back these theories, the cause of the Tunguska explosion continues to elude us.
When you take into consideration that there was no one around to actually witness the event, save for a few terrified peasants in the outer lying region, along with a lack of concrete evidence, it is easy to understand why there is so much speculation. As a matter of fact, it was almost 19 years before any scientists actually arrived at the scene of the explosion, having only their observations of the explosions devastation with which to base their theories upon.
The damage caused by the explosion was immense. The shock wave and heat that radiated from the epicenter of the explosion devastated approximately a 30km radius. Over 80 million trees in the Siberian region were scorched, disfigured and toppled. A herd of hundreds of reindeer were instantly incinerated. Fortunately, the area was so remote that there were no humans in residence, and there were no human casualties involved. But what could have caused this amount of devastation, and left no evidence behind?
Some of the more popular theories surrounding the Tunguska explosion speculate that the explosion was caused by a meteor or a comet. There was however, no impact crater or meteor pieces found in the area, which generally occur from a extraterrestrial impact. Others speculate that it was a crater, or meteor that exploded right before actual impact with the earths surface. Even if this were the case, there were also no comet or meteor fragments which would have been present in the case of an explosion.
There are of course, many more far fetched theories surrounding the Tunguska explosion, then there are rational ones. Many people feel as though there was some sort of “alien” presence that caused the Tunguska explosion. There are even a few reports of peasants who state they witnessed, cigar shaped, or pipe shaped objects flying through the sky right before the explosion. Other theories cite that it was caused by a reactor explosion from an alien spacecraft. One would think however, that an alien spacecraft explosion would leave some sort of debris behind. This fact, also leads to more “conspiracy theory” type speculation that there was an alien craft explosion of some kind that the government is covering up.
A large amount of scrutiny was placed on scientist Nikola Tesla directly following the explosion. Tesla was a genius, a scientist with knowledge far ahead of his time. He performed many experiments with energy and electricity. Speculation arose that Tesla had invented some sort of death ray that had caused the explosion, or that one of his electrical experiments had gone beyond his control. Others claim that Tesla was going to use this demonstration of power to intimidate the world in some way. In any event, Tesla never stepped forth to claim responsibility for the Tunguska explosion, nor ever admitted, at least publicly, to having anything to do with it.
One scientist believes that the explosion actually came from the interior of the earth itself. He believes that a fluid jet under high pressure could have been released when a small earthquake shook the surface. Yet another group of scientist believe that an anti-rock composed of anti-matter caused an annihilation in the earths atmosphere above the Tunguska region causing the explosion. Considering that scientist state that anti-matter only exists in the far reaches of the universe, this theory is one of the more less believed ones, that never seemed to garner much attention.
There are of course, hundreds of more theories circulating about, that concern the Tunguska explosion. With no conclusive evidence, they have always been however, simply theories. But recently, scientists have discovered what they might believe could be a definitive piece of evidence behind the source of the Tunguska explosion.
A short five miles from the epicenter of the explosion lies Lake Cheko. In a 1999 expedition, Italian scientists believe they may have found the cause of the explosion. Performing a sonar scan of the lakes topography, the scientists realized that the lake has the remarkable distinction of being an meteor impact crater. They group of scientists did take core samples from the lake bed, however they state that the samples are non-conclusive of a meteor impact and further research consisting of deeper core samples will be necessary to make a determination.
Will this new finding end the controversy and speculation regarding the Tunguska explosion? We can only wait and see. Chances are, even with such evidence, many people will still hold fast to the theories that they believe. Was it a meteor that caused this elusive event, or an alien spacecraft explosion? The world may never know.
**For a more technical and detailed description of some of the Tunguska explosion theories, you can visit the Institute For Creation Website.