A giant fireball—later described as a bolide or exploding meteor—was captured falling toward Earth in numerous dash cam videos. The footage captured by commuters in Bangkok on Monday morning has sparked fear into the people of Thailand.
At least some Thais believed the exploding meteor was an asteroid apocalypse that has been predicted by conspiracy theorists, according to Lindsay Murdoch, reporting for Fairfax Media in Bangkok.
Initially, people began wild speculation as to what the fireball was. Some said it was part of a satellite, a crippled aircraft, a burning balloon, space junk or even a UFO.
"In a country imbued with superstition, others said that whatever it was, it was an ill omen," Murdoch wrote.
Attila Nagy compiled numerous angles of the meteor with links to the various videos in his description:
Thailand's Astronomical Society confirmed with Fairfax Media that the fireball was a rare phenomenon called a bolide or exploding meteor that came with a thunderous roar.
Society president Prapee Wiraporn told Fairfax Media that it was extraordinary because of its brightness and because it was seen during the day.
"This is a natural, normal phenomenon because small meteors fall to earth every day, but what we saw was similar to one over Chelyabinsk in Russia two years ago," she said.
On February 15, 2013, the Chelyabinsk meteor, a superbolide, exploded 18 miles above Earth and sent a shock wave that damaged 7,200 buildings, causing panic and 1,500 injuries, mainly from broken glass.
There were no reports of shockwaves from Monday's meteor, however.
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