Most space debris simply burns up in the atmosphere long before it can ever make earthfall (a meteor). Every so often a lucky meteorite makes it through the fire, but only a few times in recorded history has such a missile ever hit a human being.
The Hodges Meteorite is not remarkable for its size or shape, but after careening through an Alabama woman’s house and hitting her while she napped, it went down in history. At 2 in the afternoon on Nov. 30, 1954, Ann Hodges had just settled into a nap on her couch when a meteorite, which would come to be known as Sylacauga (fallen meteorites are usually named after where they land), rocketed through the roof. The space bullet bounced off the massive radio cabinet and slammed right into Hodges’ side like something off of Astronomy’s Funniest Home Videos. Amazingly, Hodges was only bruised, but the real violence was yet to come.
As it turns out, meteorites are pretty much space gold, and ownership of the mineral came into question almost immediately. Hodges had been renting her home from the owner, who felt that since the meteorite had crashed through his roof, it was legally his. Understandably, Hodges felt differently, and a heated legal battle ensued. In the end, Hodges won the day—and the meteorite—but as the sensational story had earned her a great deal of unwanted fame, she donated the rock to the Alabama Museum of Natural History.
Now known popularly as the Hodges Meteorite, the extraterrestrial dive bomber is still on display in the museum.
More wonders to explore: