It is believed to have started its existence in an asteroid belt somewhere between Mars and Jupiter. Eventually, this 70 million ton meteor would put a huge hole in Illinois and may have even started the Ice Age.

I found evidence of this incredible Illinois meteor impact while browsing through the Impact Earth database. It's the Glasford Crater near Peoria and the history behind this crater is fascinating and a bit terrifying. It's not much to look at from above, but beneath the Earth is evidence of a massive space collision millennia ago.

Google Maps Satellite View
Google Maps Satellite View

The Wikipedia page for the Glasford Crater near Peoria, Illinois offers some stunning numbers:

  • It was a meteor that was between 50 and 90 million pounds
  • It "released a large amount of energy, roughly equivalent to 20,000 nuclear bombs, 460 million tons of TNT, or two to three times the energy of the Mount St. Helens eruption"

It was rumored to be an impact crater back in the 1960's and confirmed in the 1980's when scientists found shatter cones.

The collision in the heart of Illinois with this meteorite affected Earth's climate so drastically it may have "contributed to the mid-Ordovician Ice Age".

I've always had issues with how scientists date rocks, so I don't necessarily agree with how long ago this impact happened, but there's no doubt that the middle of Illinois was the scene of an impact energy release at some point that has rarely been rivaled and the evidence lies underneath the farmland near Peoria.

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Gallery Credit: Atlas Survival Shelters via YouTube

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