Shades of the Andromeda Strain

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So, first there was this meteor which smacked down into the ground at a village in Peru located in the high Andes department of Puno in the Desaguadero region, near the border with Bolivia.

Residents complained of headaches and vomiting brought on by a “strange odor,” local health department official Jorge Lopez told Peruvian radio RPP.

Seven policemen who went to check on the reports also became ill and had to be given oxygen before being hospitalized, Lopez said.

Rescue teams and experts were dispatched to the scene, where the meteorite left a 100-foot-wide (30-meter-wide) and 20-foot-deep (six-meter-deep) crater, said local official Marco Limache.

“Boiling water started coming out of the crater and particles of rock and cinders were found nearby. Residents are very concerned,” he said.

However, people were suspicious of this. There hasn’t been a recorded case of illness coming from any satellite we know of (unless you count being extincted on account of tons of rock falling on your butt, but we weren’t actually around for that one.) Also, various astronomers questioned the size and shape of the crater. People speculated it might be space debris, instead, like, say, the kind that carried the deadly virus to earth in The Andromeda Strain.

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