The meteorite that struck this suburban Chicago home broke into several pieces after hitting a roof truss and punching through the ceiling drywall.
The meteorite that struck this suburban Chicago home broke into several pieces after hitting a roof truss and punching through the ceiling drywall.

High winds? Earthquake? Lightning? Those may be the first things that come to mind when you think of natural causes of structural damage, but don't forget meteorites. While a lot less common than the first three, they do happen. In fact, 2003 was an unusually productive year for meteorite strikes, with at least four houses punctured by falling space rocks in the United States alone.

Three of the strikes occurred early on the morning of March 27, when a minivan-sized meteor broke apart as it entered the atmosphere, spraying chunks of shattered rock over the south Chicago suburbs of Park Forest and Olympia Fields. In a fourth, separate incident on September 23, a basketball-sized stone blasted through a house on a quiet...

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