An asteroid the size of a stadium, with a blast 175,000 times greater than Hiroshima hit Wetumpka, Alabama

Did you know that an asteroid which was probably the size of the Auburn University football stadium, traveling at 12 miles per second, hit Wetumpka, Alabama at with a force about 30 times greater than the largest nuclear weapon ever detonate on Earth?


crater

Photo credit – CIty of Wetumpka

“Debris may have been thrown as far away as the present Gulf of Mexico. It is one of the few above-ground impact crater locations in the United states and one of only about six in the entire World.”

Crater rock photo by Vicki Lais – Birmingham Paleontological Society

BPS Scouting Trip

The crater structure was first noted in 1969 by a group of geologists from the Geological Survey of Alabama, which included team leader Thornton L. Neathery, and in 1976, they published a paper proposing that a meteor had created the feature. They called the the crater the Wetumpka astrobleme.

“Did you know that many people devoted to the Crown settled in Alabama? Read Alabama Footprints to learn more.”

Conclusive evidence of impact origin was lacking until 1998 when David T. King, Jr.,and colleagues, including Neathery discovered shocked quartz in a core drilled near the center of the structure. In 2002, Auburn University researchers published evidence and established the site as an internationally recognized impact crater.

The Wetumpka impact was roughly 175,000 times greater than the nuclear explosion in Hiroshima in 1945. “It produced a huge earthquake, a tsunami, an atmospheric blast wave, and a cascade of falling rocks that would have blasted out of the crater bowl.”.  The impact totally devastated everything in a 25 mile radius.

Crater rock photo by Vicki Lais – Birmingham Paleontological Society

BPS Scouting Trip

According to King, “if the same asteroid landed here today, it would wipe out nearby Montgomery, the state capital, and everything else within a 25-mile radius.” and would have created an explosion as spectacular as in the movie “Deep Impact.

Located only a dozen miles north of Montgomery, in the City of Wetumpka, the ancient meteor crater at 5 miles wide is over twice as large as the famous Barringer Crater near Flagstaff Arizona.

Barringer Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona

Barringer meteor crater Arizona

All that remains of the meteoritic impact crater formed by the collision is a crescent-shaped ridge of hills rising up to 300 feet above the surrounding river plains. Bald Knob, the highest point on the rim, and other parts of the crater remnant are clearly visible to travelers entering Wetumpka on US Highway 231 and Alabama Highway 14.01-25-Wetumpka-crater

The City of Wetumpka has yearly tours of the “Crater Walks” in March.

Image from Google maps

Image from Google maps

Auburn University has established a fund to help advance studies of the Wetumpka impact crater called the ‘Wetumpka Impact Crater Fund’

SOURCES

  1. CNN.COM
  2. Encyclopedia of Alabama
  3. Wetumpka Meteor crater
  4. Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce

 

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An asteroid the size of Auburn Football stadium & 30 times greater than Hiroshima hit Wetumpka, Alabama

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

272 Responses to An asteroid the size of a stadium, with a blast 175,000 times greater than Hiroshima hit Wetumpka, Alabama

  1. Jacob LuskJacob Lusk says:

    I lived right by there for yrs n never even knew that…

  2. Dave DeaneDave Deane says:

    An asteroid hit Jordan-Hare? I knew Harvey Updike was an alien?

  3. I pickup some of my best rocks around wetumpka

  4. I did know this – but whatever you do, don’t try to find it – there is no actual roadside sign or anything. It was open once a year, but I can’t tell that it is now.

    • There is a Historical Sign stating Crater Rim on 231.

    • You cannot apparently visit or see anything I’m told. My family tried to go last year and couldn’t get anywhere near it.

      • Sally blackwell says:

        Come see me. My house is in the middle of the crater and the “cliffs” in the picture are down the road. My husband has led the crater tours and can take you on a private one!

        • Kim Parker says:

          I would love for my family to take a tour and see the crater.

          Thank you,

          Kim
          Trussville, Alabama

        • Cornelia Fenenga Moore says:

          how come they make a big stink abt the AZ one, and there’s nothing regarding this one? I’m a geology hobbyist and would love to see a scientific show, maybe by NatGeo, on this one. sure, it’s not “perfect” like the AZ one is, but I think it’s just as interesting, if not more so. ring their bell and see if NatGeo would do a show on it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s fascinated but can’t visit (for me it’s distance and poor health that keeps me home) . is that a massive concentration of white quartz at 3 o’clock from center of the picture?

  5. I live across the road from the crater and it can’t be seen from the road. You have to walk through a field and climb a hill to get to it. It is beautiful and amazing. My grandkids loved it

  6. Lord Inquisitor Eriksson says:

    Wait….

    Football field = 300 feet… if you divide 300 by 10, you get 30. 30 is the multiple of how big the impact was from this asteroid to the nuke that hit Hiroshima.

    If you divide 30 by 10, you get 3….

    Triangles have 3 points… The Illuminati use triangles.

    ILLUMINATI ASTEROID WEAPONS CONFIRMED.

  7. Jeff HannaJeff Hanna says:

    RECENTLY?!!! 😉

  8. Tony Martin never realized you lived in world famous wetumpka instead of plain ‘ol wetumpka.

  9. Lisa Hiles
    Thought you might be interested in this.

  10. I hope everyone is OK!

  11. Any idea the time in history of this event?

  12. When did this impact occur?

  13. Joe is originally from Wetumpka. I read the article, but did not notice any comment about what year scientists believe the asteroid hit.

  14. Wow! Good thing it wasn’t the size of the Ohio State football stadium, there might not be an Alabama left!

  15. did not know this! I visited the meteor crater in Arizona…they have made it a rather fascinating tourist mecca. How could not I not know about this one in Alabama!

  16. Joy Hallmark says:

    Alabama is one amazing place.

  17. The crater is at least 83 million years old.

  18. © ” “Debris may have been thrown as far away as the present Gulf of Mexico.”” Ejecti landed closer than you know,,,right below Auburn. Tekties have been found in streams and rivers within 30 miles of Auburn by myself with grab samples of the ejecti from that known fall. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/Two_tektites.JPG/440px-Two_tektites.JPG

  19. Darn, I hope everyone is OK.

  20. Pam GC have y’all seen this yet? Up close?

  21. Brooke Rollins Shubert we need to take the kids to see this.

  22. I know of this. I lived in Montgomery for some time and it is an awesome site.

  23. HAVE READ ABOUT THIS IN THE PAST

  24. Fascinating article;never heard of this as many times as I’ve been in and around Wetumpka. Jasmine Hill Rd. even is on the rim of the crater going by the map.

  25. Science is not exact as far as timelines but then the Bible is not exact about dates and timelines either and if eternity is a blink of an eye to God why argue small details it could be 83 million years old we do not know how long ago God created everything.

  26. Glo Folmar thought this might interest you

  27. It can be seen rather clearly using Google Earth. It is the local are called Blue Ridge.

  28. Yep, I was there when it happened. It might be what’s wrong now and why I don’t hear as well. Just sayin,

  29. Donna SeayDonna Seay says:

    Cool site for more on Alabama History.

  30. The size of auburn football field ? Not any football field , but auburns ? Thought they all were 100 yards .

  31. Trish and I, on a vacation, went over to Wetumpka and followed around the edges of the astrobleme as far as We could. It is very pronounced.

  32. Curt Inthehouse don’t you wish we could go digging here

  33. Clint Johnston – true or fanciful ?

  34. Yes, and I live on the rim of the Wetumpka Impact Crater!

  35. Interesting Connie Graves

  36. Hey, I knew that one.

  37. Tim JamesTim James says:

    Shld be diamonds there

  38. Bob DollBob Doll says:

    Good thing it wasn’t as big as Bryant Denny or it might have done real damage!

  39. Jd HunterJd Hunter says:

    What up With The AUBURNT Reference???? Is that where cows could from???

  40. Erin Blanton Harvell this is what I’ve been telling you about for years.

  41. I think it was 82 million but what’s a million years difference?!

  42. Never heard of this. Would like to see it.

  43. Yeah,we got out of school early the day this thing hit Wetumpka.

  44. I lived on jasmine hill rd back in the 80’s

  45. wow,,ive always been interested in geology,in reece where i live,i find lots of fosils in a dry creek bed,proving thay this was all under the ocean at one time,would love to know more about it,,

  46. Spencer Thompson Jeff Thompson Tracy Worthington Thompson

  47. Susan GoffSusan Goff says:

    Did you know a museum about the asteroid hit is opening Feb. 20Th?

  48. I am not sure I understand why this is news to “Alabamians”…my brother told me about this not long after my family moved here in 1975….strange….

  49. Hiroshima < greatest nuclear device ever detonated.

  50. Pingback: Shelby County, and other central Alabama counties were once beachfront property. Do you think it will happen again? - Alabama Pioneers

  51. Jack RileyJack Riley says:

    Thanks for posting Don! It was an amazing discovery and not widely publicized outside the geology community.

  52. Dean CoeDean Coe says:

    Wasn’t very big.

  53. Why not the size of Alabama’s football stadium? Lol

  54. Matthew Cole Hunsinger

  55. An even better reason to get back to Prattville. Dusty Hunsinger.

  56. Anonymous says:

    ,but the song is not “A Star Fell On Alabama”.

  57. If you ever get a chance to drive through Rockford, Al. you can see what I believe is evidence. There are big boulders laying around with no related looking landscape. It looks like they were thrown up there. Rockford is about 30 miles north of Wetumpka.

  58. Alabama’s stadium is one second bigger

  59. Denver Denny Sellers

  60. How do you find out if something you found is a part of a meteorite? Found on Lake Martin

  61. Rob GastonRob Gaston says:

    “All that remains of the meteoritic impact crater formed by the collision is a crescent-shaped ridge of hills rising up to 300 feet above the surrounding river plains. – See more at: http://alabamapioneers.com/wetumpka-meteor/#sthash.DWwaikZC.dpuf” – This says that essentially the crater is 300 ft deep. So, if the initial meteor strike didn’t get you, the fall would. Just saying’… 🙂

  62. Dave says:

    85000 years ago. Haaaahhhhhhaaaaaaa. The earth is only 6000 years old. Laughable. Evolutionist I presume.

  63. Dave says:

    85 mil. Sorry for the typo

  64. The hobbit says:

    If we could get another one to land about 30 miles west of this one we would be doing the Great State of Alabama a huge favor. Roll Tide.

  65. I just wish it would hit Auburn football stadium. (after hours) RTR!

  66. Nicole Bridges Stephens

  67. Bob WaiteBob Waite says:

    Shame on u John Sessions! I would not wish that on Alabama stadium!

  68. Funny, I didn’t hear a thing.

  69. He just doesn’t want to worry about Auburn whooping up on some Bama. You can’t blame him for that.

  70. Alabama’s football stadium is bigger

  71. Been there, beautiful place.

  72. Sense of humor in these days is a valuable trait.

  73. So for those of us not well versed in the size of various SEC football stadiums, how big was it in decimeters?

  74. Anonymous says:

    Stadium size With or without Aubitron?

  75. Someone let me know when comedy hour starts and people trolling looking for laughs are gone.

  76. The Impact Center Site is across the street from me. Pretty interesting. I think we live actually on the hills of the impact site.

  77. I think UAB needs its own asteroid

  78. Darrell Culverhouse says:

    My cousin Bill Skinner and I walk through this crater when we teenagers. We talked about something like that must have caused that crater.

  79. Pingback: Ten facts about the annual Perseids Meteor shower you may not know | Days Gone By

  80. I have been told that it threw debris into the gulf of mexico.

  81. So it was the size of Auburns football stadium, hmm good thing it wasn’t Bama’s stadium. It would have been 15 times more powerful lol RTR

  82. Would love to see this !

  83. We live on the ridge of that thing. It is beautiful!

  84. Isn’t Wetumpka the Muskogee word for “DUCK!”?

  85. Why is the site not open ?

  86. How many Rhode Islands is that?

  87. It is the only crater on Earth like it: the asteroid hit in the shallow sea, and it is now on land.

  88. WOW! Didn’t know! Fascinating!

  89. Have never heard about this & have lived in Bham area all my life. Visited the one in AZ. It is amazing.

  90. I’ve never heard of this. Interesting.

  91. Tim MayTim May says:

    That’s what killed my great, great, great, great, great, great. ……great granddaddy’s dinosaur

  92. Wes HolmanWes Holman says:

    If looking at sattelite picture of Al. & Ms. Looks to me like one slid in from northeast, cut the Tenn. river out,, stopped at Guntersville, and banked up a berm from upper Miss. circling down thru middle Alabama! just have always noticed this!

  93. Wow! How about that!

    • If you saw all of the huge plates of sedimentary rock that are reposing at unusually steep angles, you might possibly think that was evidence of a big chunk of space debris hitting the earth a while back and causing a crater.

  94. Where did the asteroid itself go?

  95. Right about the time obama came president-??

  96. Kevin Simpson Kim Meeks Myers

  97. Jesika McClellan….I’m just glad it didn’t take out the casino lmao

  98. Pingback: From recent scientific information, an event like this could happen again with even more serious consequences - Alabama Pioneers

  99. Keitha Ryan Charles and Austin Charles

  100. Mike Creel, Julie McCune Creel

  101. Did this happen 13,000 years ago?

  102. Will Clague Kody Reichert

  103. That particular area, I believe, is now called Slapout, Alabama, home of where the star fell

  104. interesting….did not know.

  105. SOUNDS LIKE A BUNCH OF DEMOCRATES TALKING;;BET ITS THE SAME PEOPLE THAT CAN TELL YOU WHAT SOMETHING LOOKED LIKE 50 MILLIONS AGO

  106. The article doesn’t mention a time period. When did this occur?

  107. Downtown Wetumpka is built inside the crater.

  108. It happened about 83 million years ago. Back then, this area was a shallow sea, estimated to be about 100 feet deep. Most of Alabama was under sea water during the age of the dinosaurs. That’s why the only fossils found in Alabama are marine ones. Goat Hill, where the Capitol sits, was a barrier island then.

  109. So that’s what happened in Wetumpka….

  110. except it wasnt Wetumpka then, that is why there is a large astroblem there

  111. Is this located on public or private lands? If private, is there an organization which provides tours or hikes? I would love to visit this site! Thanks!

  112. Yes, you can still see the rim of the crater.

  113. Andrew Tiberiousnotthomas Knapp may find this interesting.

  114. My daughter lives there they have a guided tour one time a year that you can go and look and see where it hit.

  115. John EvansJohn Evans says:

    Auburn like a asteroid. REALLY.

  116. When? I didn’t hear about it.

  117. So thats where the song came from? Never knew that.

    • The song came from another time.

      The title appears to have been borrowed from the title of the 1934 book of the same name by Carl Carmer.[1] It refers to a spectacular occurrence of the Leonid meteor shower that had been observed in Alabama in November 1833, “the night the stars fell.”[2] As reported by the Florence Gazette: “[There were] thousands of luminous bodies shooting across the firmament in every direction. There was little wind and not a trace of clouds, and the meteors succeeded each other in quick succession.”

    • Here is a story about the Stars falling on Alabama and the song. http://alabamapioneers.com/stars-fell-on-alabama/

  118. Bob DollBob Doll says:

    If the asteroid would’ve held over 100K then it would’ve really done some damage.

  119. Aunt D Rosie have you and Aunt H Hallie been here before?

  120. Never knew this. Fascinating!

  121. Saw this on PBS years ago Vulcan Materials geologists found this . They noticed certain rocks and minerals that where supposed to be below ground were on top . They said the crater was about 1000 yards around .

  122. Use to ride motorcycles alone there years ago.

  123. Leanne Neathery Sauers I love seeing this story and knowing your dad was so instrumental in this process of discovery.

  124. Did everyone TP Toomers Corner?

  125. Too bad it missed Auburn.

  126. The Russians did it.

  127. 83 million years about? How can that be calculated?

  128. To this day the effects linger. The trees on toomers corner still will not grow.

  129. Have you seen it, Janis?

  130. Wow. Learn something every day

  131. That’s one reason I moved here. I heard they never strike in the same place twice.

  132. Dona SmithDona Smith says:

    I read that story! I want to go!

  133. Jack WhiteJack White says:

    Mary Weaver-West was this when you arrived?

  134. And in the early 199’0s a meteor hit not too far away where the Wetumpka City ball fields now are rattled my house. Kinda makes you wonder about that whole what goes around comes around thing.

  135. William Arnold says:

    Would folks please stop asking, When did this occur? ! It occurred way before there were ‘years’ on a calendar! NO it was not 1969!!

  136. William Arnold says:

    I think someone who owns the land should donate that area to the State to develop a park. Right?

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