On June 30, 1908, a massive explosion near the Tungus River in Siberia, Russia, destroyed 80 million trees in a 2000 square kilometer area, known as the Tunguss incident. The Tungus incident is widely believed to have been caused by a comet or meteorite explosion over Tungus, but debris from the big explosion has not been found in the area.
Now, a team of researchers has come up with an explanation: a large iron meteor that hits the Earth so close that it can produce a huge shock wave, but instead of breaking down, it returns to space to continue flying.
The study was published in the journal Royal MonthLy Society. Similar events have occurred many times, with meteors flying through the Earth’s atmosphere, rebounding back into space like a drift rather than hitting the ground.