Insurance from the skies!

Insurance from the skies!

Insurance from the skies!

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Oct. 12 2008 9:22 PM

Insurance from the skies!

What are the odds of getting hit by a meteorite?

I'm not even sure how you'd calculate those odds accurately (it would involve the number of meteorites known to hit the Earth, and the area of a single human compared to the surface area of the planet). But they're really low; only one person I know of in modern times has been hit -- in 1954 a woman in Sylacauga, Alabama was smacked in her side by an 8-pounder, and in 1992 a woman's car was hit. In 2003 a flurry of meteorites rained down near Chicago, and amazingly no one was hit.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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So it's not like I worry too much about it. But then you might see something like this...

Meteorite through a bus stop?

It looks like one hit a bus stop in Düsseldorf, Germany!

But wait a sec. It looks like little too good to be true, doesn't it? And how come you never heard about it?

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Well, take a look at the advertising sign on the side of the bus stop:

Sign advertising insurance at bus stop

Roughly translated (any Deutsch sprechers out there want to give the accurate one?) it says to think over carefully about unexpected circumstances. "Advice from your guardian angel: think about accident insurance" (thanks to the native German speakers in the comments below for this better translation!). Provinzial is the name of the company on the ad... and it's an insurance company.

Ha! Clever. Germans have better ads than we do in the U.S. All I ever see are "APPLY DIRECTLY TO FOREHEAD!" enough times until I wish a cosmic rock would smack me upside the head.

Tip o' the Whipple Shield to, uh, Darn Cool Pics.