Meteor Shower Caused The Great Chicago Fire

Posted by on October 9th, 2009

Wither the reputation of poor Catherine O’Leary. A muckraking hack thinks it’d make a great read to libel your name by insinuating a cow under your control kicked a lantern, which ignited the surrounding hay, which torched the barn which started the Great Chicago Fire.

These tall tales were eventually revealed to be what they were, fibs told by a fibbing fibber.

So what was the real reason Chi Town burnt down? Meteor showers! At least according to a 2004 report from engineer and physicist Robert R. Wood.

On October 8, 1871, a fire started that burned much of Chicago, killing 300, and destroying $200,000,000 worth of property. Most people are unaware that within a few minutes, major fires started in upstate Wisconsin and Michigan, killing more than 2000 people in the farming country. Because of the poor communications with the upstate areas, the magnitude of the upstate horror was not known for weeks.

Biela’s Comet, with a solar orbital period of 6 years 9 months, had been disturbed by Jupiter on a previous passage and broke into two large comets. It has been hypothesized that one of them struck Earth and broke into several smaller pieces. These pieces, consisting of frozen comet gases would have likely included combustibles like methane CH4 and acetylene C2H2 that melted, vaporized and explosively ignited, causing impressive incendiary results upstate, consistent with surviving witness reports.

Blame that on a cow!

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