The X on this file seems to be fading fast. Many theories floated around in the first few days of this Andromeda strain-ed news story. But some tests are in, and they point to a perfectly convincing explanation. (If you are new to Peru’s meteor madness, here’s a quick recap.)
First, the crater outside a Peruvian town near Lake Titicaca was caused by a meteorite, not a mud volcano, crashed American satellite, Chilean missile attack or “a lake of sedimentary deposit.”
Tests confirmed that the crater contained telltale magnetic fragments of a meteorite, and Peru’s Geophysics Institute recorded a large tremor in the area at the moment of impact, according to The Associated Press.
Secondly, the mystery illness is probably not due to “panspermic alien microbes” or other space-based bacteria, as much as some had hoped or feared, however unseriously. It came from the soil, a Peruvian researcher who has visited the site tells National Geographic:
The illness was the result of inhaling arsenic fumes, according to Luisa Macedo, a researcher for Peru’s Mining, Metallurgy, and Geology Institute (INGEMMET), who visited the crash site.
The meteorite created the gases when the object’s hot surface met an underground water supply tainted with arsenic, the scientists said.*NOTE: THE YET TO BE EXPLAINED QUESTIONS
Where is the meteorite fragments?
Where are the infected Peruvians?
How many actually become sick?
What does the treating medical team believe to be the origin of the sickness?
What has happened to the crater site? Is the area still being quarantined?
Still too many unanswered questions about this cosmic mystery