Apparent Meteorite Impacts City in Western Cuba: Reports

February 1, 2019 Updated: February 1, 2019

An apparent meteorite landed in western Cuba on Feb. 1, according to reports and photos published on social media.

The National Weather Service in Key West said a meteor was seen in the sky over the Florida Keys.

“We’re receiving reports that a meteor was seen in the sky across the Florida Keys,” the agency’s office wrote on Twitter. “It appears that a meteorite impact occurred in western Cuba, near the town of Vinales, Pinar del Rio, earlier this afternoon.”

Local 10 Cuba correspondent Hatzel Vela obtained video footage that believes the sky trial was left by the alleged meteorite.

The meteorite also “shattered windows and sounded like two explosions,” Local 10 reported.

Photos published on social media showed the fragments of the object.

It’s not clear if there were reports of damage or injuries.

Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde said there was “a strong explosion” near Pinar del Rio, NBC6 reported.

$100,000 Meteorite?

A Michigan man learned in October that a rock he’s been using as a doorstop is a meteorite worth $100,000, according to The Associated Press.

The nearly 23-pound hunk of iron and nickel is the sixth largest meteorite found in Michigan, according to the Smithsonian Museum and Central Michigan University.

Meteorite doorstop
Meteorite doorstop. (Central Michigan University)

David Mazurek said he took his doorstop to the university for examination after seeing reports in January of meteorite pieces selling for thousands of dollars.

“I said, ‘Wait a minute. I wonder how much mine is worth,’” Mazurek said.

University Geology Professor Mona Sirbescu first identified the piece as more than just a rock, but she sent two small slices of the rock to the Smithsonian for confirmation.

“I could tell right away that this was something special,” she said. “It’s the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically.”

Mazurek said the meteorite came with a barn he bought in 1988 in Edmore. He says the farmer who sold him the property told him it landed in his backyard in the 1930s.

“The story goes that it was collected immediately after they witnessed the big boom and the actual meteorite was dug out from a crater,” Sirbescu said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.