From a giant meteorite unexpectedly falling from the sky to a three Suns optical illusion – the Russian city of Chelyabinsk has become the world’s premier place for truly out of the blue OMG! moments. RT gives some insight into the recent madness.
For centuries, Russia’s Chelyabinsk Region, located on the border
between Europe and Asia, has been a defense powerhouse, arming
the Tsars’ forces and establishing the Soviet Union’s formidable
nuclear arsenal. But the region’s rep for military muscle is not
what’s been turning heads as of late.
No, when it comes to packing in as many ‘oh my God! Did you see
that?’ moments into one place, Chelyabinsk is the undisputed
In 2013 a meteorite swan dived over the city. And not just any
meteor. No, it was the largest piece of flaming space rock to hit
the earth in more than a hundred years.
On February 15 the skies were illuminated by a flying object that
exploded a few times, just enough to make the city’s gritty
residents turn their heads.
“At first I saw a huge bright fire up in the skies, and then
came a loud explosion that not only
shattered the windows, but blew out the window frames,”
resident Taisiya Alabuzhina told RT.
Luckily the explosion occurred about 30 to 40km over Chelyabinsk
and the space body itself didn’t make an unwelcome crash landing
smack dab in the middle of the city. There were no casualties,
but about 1,600 people received minor injuries, mostly from
fragments of shattered glass.
Although the meteor was relatively small, some believed its blast
was comparable to the power of a nuclear bomb. NASA said the
shockwave force was equal to a 500-kiloton explosion – 30 times
the Hiroshima blast. The shockwave was so powerful that it
traveled some 85,000km, circling the globe twice over the course
of three days Superman-style.
…and Church of The Meteorite
The biggest fragment of the meteorite weighed in at around 570
kilograms and was found in Lake Chebarkul, 90 km from
Chelyabinsk. The chunk of the cosmic body even got its own fan
club, with some going as far as to worship it and establish the
so-called ‘Church of the Meteorite’.
Paranormalist Andrey Breyvichko, the founder of the circle
believes that it contains “a set of moral and legal norms
that will help people live at a new stage of spiritual knowledge
development.” Moreover, he claims that the meteorite is so
powerful it could actually trigger the Apocalypse.
While his woo-woo take on the meteorite is…special, it would
probably be fair to say that ‘holy’ was the first word to come
out of a lot of people’s mouths when they first saw that thing
And if a giant meteorite ushering in the apocalypse wasn’t enough
for the residents of Chelyabinsk, in February they got something
even more mind-bending than a double rainbow – a triple sun (that’s one more than
the planet Tatooine!)
So did Chelyabinsk somehow leave earth and become part of a
ternary solar system? Not exactly. Rather, the triple suntriple sun was actually an optical illusion
which is sometimes called a winter rainbow; produced by ice
crystals in the winter air. The symmetrical patches of light,
tinged with red on the inside, are called mock suns, parhelia or
sundogs. So seriously, forget about double rainbows, the winter
rainbow is where it’s at!
You’re parents always warned you not to eat the yellow snow, but
what about the blue snow? That’s right, if a triple sun
wasn’t enough for the month of February, strange, Smurf-colored
snowflakes fell down on the city’s streets, just in case the
residents weren’t already freaked out enough.
But before anyone could start a cult and herald the blue snow as
yet another sign of the end times, officials figured out that it
was actually caused by a spill at a factory making dye for Easter
So what else has been going on in the city as of late? According
to the web, an alarm clock cuts off a girl’s head, a Chupacabra
was seen roaming the streets, a man attacked a bear, and Mickey
Mouse, SpongeBob, and Luntik put a beat down on a driver???
Seriously, go home Chelyabinsk, you’re drunk!